In my early days of recovery from the underlying anxiety that led to my eating disorder, I went through a program called TERRAP which was founded by Dr. Arthur Hardy. One of the most helpful things about his program was that he provided tapes to listen to whenever I was feeling anxious. I will always remember his philosophy about setbacks being an essential part of the recovery process. As painful as they can be, setbacks help us grow stronger, if we can recognize how they provide the opportunity to learn from them. Once I accepted the inevitability of taking a step backwards at times, I was able to see the important lessons setbacks had to offer. This shift in mindset has had a lasting effect on me over the years, and I am much less afraid of slipping up now, because I know there are many options available to help me get through it and come out a stronger person.
Of course all of that being said, it doesn’t make it any more pleasant during an actual setback. Remember to be extra kind to yourself when it happens, and seek the support of those who love you during that time. Treat yourself the way you would a child who has taken a nasty spill – lots of hugs and nurturing can be a great antidote to the pain.