When first entering recovery, there are so many unknowns. You cannot possibly be prepared for all that it involves. Looking back, you may be able to identify some lessons you learned and may feel like those things would’ve been helpful to know at the beginning of your journey. Project HEAL will be asking a weekly question related to eating disorder recovery. For our first #WEWANTTOKNOWWEDNESDAY, we asked you:

What is something you wish you knew when you first began recovery?

Here’s what you shared:

1. “Recovery is not a 100-yard dash; it's a marathon.” – Jessica F

2. “That leaving treatment doesn't mean you are fully recovered. I struggled a lot my first year out of treatment. And now, 6 years in recovery, I can look back on that journey and see how strong it's made me. My bad days now aren't nearly as bad as they were back then. No matter how low you feel now, it can only go up from here.” – Michelle T

3. “That accepting help is not a sign of weakness. Some people genuinely want to help improve your quality of life and will not judge you in the process.” – Lisa S

4. “That you can't have it all. You can't have recovery and keep the "sick" body. You have to surrender. You have to trust. And you have to want it yourself…100%.” – Stephanie C

5. “That you can't do it on your own. A support system is crucial; not only your treatment team but also a close friend or family member you can confide in. I made it through the 1st year of recovery with the support of a very good friend. We met up for meals, coffee/snack etc., texted, and talked on the phone. She kept me sane and was the voice of reason as I battled my ED thoughts.” – Liz A

6. “That eventually, through many struggles, you DO get there.” – Grace S

7. “I wish I had known that it wasn't "go into groups and in a few weeks you're healed." It's not like that at all. I wish I had known that recovery isn't perfect, and it has its ups and downs, and is different for everybody! I'm so grateful that I have learned these things, though. It's helped me not compare my recovery to somebody else's! Every person has their own journey, and they are all different.” – Lindsay M

8. “That you're going to accomplish so much more in life without your eating disorder, even though your eating disorder wants you to believe otherwise. Your future and your relationships are going to flourish once you leave your relationship with bulimia.” – Alyssa B

9. “That you will lose friends, but your true friends will be there to support and love you throughout this process of learning to actually live your life.” – Krissey A

10. “I wish I knew how truly free I would be upon recovery. I would have moments where I would step back and realize how far I'd come, but then a few months or a year later I would realize how I had come even further. And here I am 4 years later, because it's a slow and challenging process, more body positive, more liberated and more ME than I even knew I could be. Never underestimate the power or possibility of recovery. It's always worth it.” – Morgan B

11. “You have to wake up and choose it every single day.” – Bailey G

12. “That it's ok to have bad days and hard days. A hard day or a bad day in recovery doesn't mean you are failing or that you can't do it; it means you had exactly that: a bad day in recovery. I'm almost 5 years into recovery and still have bad days, which I'm so grateful are no longer bad weeks or months. I learned early on to celebrate the small victories. Don't let a bad day discourage you. People years into recovery still have bad days or weeks. They continue to remain in their recovery and fight hard.” – Shira L

13. “It's worth it. It's really worth every moment, every tear, every ounce of everything.” – Audris F

14. “That it is a process, not a place to get.” – Adriana G

We want to hear from you! Submit to the Project HEAL blog here.