What Recovery Means to Me

New updates to this exercise will be in red text, and the older parts in the normal color (black, atm) just so you know what has been added, and anything removed or unnecessary will be crossed out like so.

The following is the introduction to the activity; again, © R. Davis (1994) “Turning Points”:

In this exercise you will begin to outline your own vision of recovery. Recovery is a very personal thing. It means different things to different people. What does recovery mean to you? You need to set goals that you can work towards as you start your own recovery process. This is the first essential step in that process of change.

Think of the big picture of your recovery: what are your short- and long-term goals? Once the goals are firmly fixed in your mind, everything you do must be seen as a step in the direction towards realizing them. Always ask yourself, “Am I acting in a way that is consistent with my goals for recovery?”. If you can honestly answer yes, then you are definitely on the right track. If your answer is no, then this represents a reminder to yourself that you need to stop, think, and behave in a manner that is consistent with your own goals for recovery.

This is a working document that is “in progress” – don’t expect that you should be able to complete this exercise today. You task for today is to just get it started. In the weeks to come, you will learn some new things about yourself as you progress through the Turning Points program; when you do, come back to this exercise and continue to work on it.

To begin this exercise, think about what you are striving to achieve as you begin the recovery process. For example, most people have some ideas about what they would like to achieve in terms of their eating behaviour. How would you like to relate to food? How would you like to be eating? Write your ideas – your goals – in the appropriate box. Be as specific as you can about the goals that you are setting for yourself.

In addition to eating behaviour, most people have some goals in a variety of other areas of their life; body image, work or studies, relationships with people, emotional and physical well-being. You may not have thought of this yet, but you will likely agree that, by overcoming your eating disorder, you put yourself in a better position to be able to pursue these other goals. For example, a person whose goal is to complete her education is more likely to achieve it if she no longer has to deal with an eating disorder. Do you have any specific goals for these other areas of your life? If so, jot your ideas in the appropriate boxes. If not, don’t worry. Something may come to mind in the weeks to come.


With regard to my eating behaviour, recovery means…


With regard to my attitudes and feelings about my body, recovery means…


With regard to my relationships with other people, recovery means…


With regard to my work or studies, recovery means…


With regard to my physical well-being, recovery means…


With regard to my emotional well-being, recovery means…



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