Eating disorder support groups, whether in person or online, can be a helpful part of your recovery experience. You might be hesitant to join such a group. Seeking help and support can be challenging for many of us. Still, I encourage you to give it some thought. Eating disorder support groups can give you a safe place to talk with others who understand what you’re experiencing. It’s a supportive environment where everyone can share common challenges and concerns as well as celebrate their victories and steps forward.
Eating disorder support groups – where to look and what to keep in mind.
•You might be surprised at how much you have in common with the others in the group. Sure, your circumstances will vary, but underneath those details, you are likely to find some common ground. You’ll probably find that when others around you don’t get it, those in your support group will.
•Check with your doctor, counselor or dietitian. Search online on websites such as Eating Disorder Referral and Information Center or National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders. Call area hospitals and clinics. Some churches offer support groups. If there’s a hotline number for your community, perhaps someone there can point you in the right direction. Pray and ask God to lead you to the right group for you.
•If you’re concerned about what others in eating disorder support groups will think of you, consider this. They are likely just as concerned about what others are thinking of them. Often, people are so focused on how they feel in a situation that they aren’t concentrating on how others come across to them.
•Even if you can’t find an in person eating disorder support group, you may be able to find one that meets other needs you have. If you live in a remote area where there are no such groups, you can search for online support groups.
•If you join a support group, give it a chance and if you determine that it isn’t for you, you can try another one. If you can’t find one that seems to fit, don’t beat yourself up over it. You don’t have to join a group in order to recover. The point is to be willing to tap into any supportive resource available to you. If a group isn’t leading you toward health, then there’s no need to feel guilty about not being there.
Eating disorder support groups may be just the caring community you need to help you stay on track with your recovery. A groups can provide you with needed support as well as an opportunity to support others. Make the most of what is available to you. Eating disorder recovery will likely be one of the hardest challenges you will ever face. But you don’t have to do it alone. Please consider searching for a group.
By Laurie Glass