Recovery Support Blog

I have volunteered for SWEDA for a nearly a year, and have recently started to do Recovery Support. This involves helping people meet their recovery goals in a 12-week programme by seeing a recovery support worker. It could be something that is really stopping their recovery, for example going to a coffee shop or doing a food shop. For someone who has an eating disorder, this can be something they are scared of.

This is such an amazing service, as when I was in recovery my mind was so fixed on rituals and scares that I avoided a lot. Recovery is all about stepping out of your comfort zone but this can be difficult when your eating disorder voice is saying not to make these changes. Having someone that can support you, listen to you and want you to succeed can make the difference.

I found in my recovery the small steps made such a difference. When I was able to go into a supermarket without totally breaking down, it was a real triumph. If I could have had someone by my side before, it would have helped.

I had an eating disorder for 17 years with major relapses and looking back now, these happened because I slipped back into the vicious cycle.

My tips for staying safe are:

  1. Get as much help as you can
  2. Talk to people – an eating disorder is so secretive
  3. Be kind to yourself
  4. Learn from your setbacks

I have really enjoyed doing recovery support as it has been a way for me to help people. If there is anything good that has come from having an eating disorder, it’s that I can help people who are struggling. 

No one deserves to go through this with an eating disorder and I’m living proof that, eventually, recovery will happen.

It’s not easy and after 3 years I still need to use the tools I’ve learnt.

Not everything you try will help but, you never know, recovery support could give you that freedom to start enjoying your life.

MN - Volunteer


“I saw a SWEDA support worker on campus at university. I had been struggling with binge eating disorder and compulsive exercise for about ten years. The SWEDA support worker was able to help me look at my relationship with food and my body in a different way. I have learned to be kinder to myself and they taught me techniques which helped me to slow down my thinking. Now I can go out and have fun without worrying all the time.”

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