I’VE TRIED TO GET HELP
For many people with eating and body concerns, recovery does not proceed in a straight line. Recovery is a unique journey which often involves going back and forth between positive change and setbacks. This can be frustrating but each attempt to get well will bring long term recovery closer.
The “I’ve Tried to Get Help” page of ROAR helps you to reflect on your past help seeking efforts and encourages you to give help seeking another go. You will see that there is hope for recovery for everyone.
You may have found that past attempts to get help did not work for you. Unfortunately, this is not an unusual experience for people with eating and body concerns. There are a lot of different reasons for this.
It may be that you felt that the help that was available didn’t fit for you, whether it was the person you were working with, or the focus of the treatment. As an individual, it is important to feel comfortable with the health professional you are seeing. It is also important to feel like the treatment you are getting is for the problems that are most relevant to you. When these things are in place, treatment is more likely to work.
You may have felt that there was little understanding from health professionals of what you were going through. This can be really off-putting and can make people disconnect from help seeking.
You also may not have been ready to make the changes you needed. When there is a mismatch between the support offered and how ready you feel to recover, it is really difficult to fully commit to making positive changes. Working with a health professional to help you feel ready to change can be an important part of the journey to recovery. Even though there may be good reasons that help seeking did not work in the past, it does not mean that things cannot be different this time. You may need to be persistent, try different options, and give help seeking a go a number of times, but it can work for you.
Negative experiences of help seeking can make people fear that they will never be able to recover. You may have similar feelings. It can be really hard to pick yourself up again and reach out to recover when your hope for recovery is fading. But recovery is possible at any stage. Each time a person attempts to make changes they build skills, knowledge and confidence for recovery. This may be knowledge about what works best for them, or confidence in being able to talk to health professionals and explain what they need from treatment. As you go along your help seeking journey you will have built up a range of skills and experiences that you can use for your next attempt to get well.
Keep in mind that eating and body concerns are complex problems. This means that treatment can be difficult and does not always work the first time. Support is available for people with eating and body concerns – no matter how many times they need it.
I tried to get help before and it didn’t work. Thinking about trying again makes me feel
People who have had eating and body concerns for a long time may feel like it is not possible to recover. They MAY feel like their concerns are so entrenched that they can never imagine a life without them. If you have been living with eating and body concerns for a long time you may also struggle to see your life differently from how it is now. Unfortunately, these types of feelings CAN make you feel stuck and take away motivation to reach out and recover. But even if it feels impossible, there is always a way to make positive change and move towards recovery.
People who have been through a long road to recovery from eating and body concerns know from experience that it is possible to recover at any stage. It is a big challenge to keep going back to seek support and treatment, especially when it has not been as helpful as you wanted it to be in the past. But persistence is really important. To fully accept help and keep at it, through all the challenges and setbacks you might come across, is the key to recovery – no matter how long eating and body concerns have been a part of your life.
It can also be difficult to know where to start, and how to recover. This is where working with health professionals comes in. They can guide you through the recovery process and provide you with the best type of treatment to fit your concerns. Print out the health professional report from the “I Need a Report” page and take it to your GP for referral to expert help. Or, see the Resources page to find the right type of health professional for you.
Choosing to seek help again after previous attempts is a brave decision, which ultimately puts you in the best position to make a real difference in your life. There are many things you can do to prepare yourself for this next step to give yourself the best chance for success. The first thing is to make a strong commitment to yourself, and to your health and wellbeing. Being fully committed to reaching out to recover will put you on the right path. The next thing is to gather together support. Who are the people that can come with you on this journey? Putting these initial steps in place will be a great help when you seek professional support.
To prepare yourself for the next steps in recovery, you will need to draw on your strengths and resilience. Take a moment to reflect on the following.
HOW CAN I MAKE SURE HEALTH PROFESSIONALS REALLY LISTEN TO MY CONCERNS?
Use the health professionals report from the “I Need a Report” page as one tool to help explain what you are going through and what you need for your recovery.
WHAT SKILLS HAVE I LEARNED IN THE PAST THAT CAN BE HELPFUL NOW?
Consider what has worked previously and how you can use those skills again. You may like to enlist the help of a support person to help you reflect on this.
WHAT PERSONAL STRENGTHS DO I HAVE THAT WILL HELP GET ME THROUGH?
Reflect on the strengths that you have in other areas of your life and how they can be used in recovery. What do you do well? How might this help in recovery?
WHEN ELSE HAVE I BEEN ABLE TO SUCCESSFULLY WORK THROUGH DIFFICULT THINGS IN THE PAST?
Bring to mind a time when you have been able to work through something difficulty in the past. Think about how that and other experiences can be used to help you through the current challenges you face with eating and body concerns.
Whether your past help-seeking efforts have been positive or negative, and however long you have had eating and body concerns, the information and support materials in ROAR will help you to be ready for your next attempts to reach out and recover. With the right support and treatment you will be able to live your life free from eating and body concerns.