Eating Disorders in Early Sobriety

Early sobriety can be a tumultuous time for an individual. Your primary coping mechanism has been removed from your life, and emotions which you have been suppressing are resurfacing randomly and with intensity. While you should be firmly rooted in a program of recovery, you will still be dealing with uncomfortability and negative emotions. It is only natural for you to seek out new ways for you to soothe and feel a sense of control over your life. This is why you should keep an eye on your eating habits in early sobriety as it is a stressful time during which you may inadvertently develop an eating disorder.

Now that you have completed inpatient residential treatment and are reintegrating into society, you should be practicing and improving your new, healthy coping skills learned while in treatment. It may take time for you to develop these new tools to the point where they are effective in helping you deal with stress and negative emotions, but it is important you stick to them rather than branching out and exploring alternatives on your own. If you are struggling with feelings of stress or sadness, discuss them with your sponsor and/or therapist and ask for their ideas of ways to effectively cope. If you have an idea of your own for a coping mechanism, run it past these sober supports to ensure it is a healthy behavior.

Early sobriety is also a time for rebuilding your self-esteem. It is easy to fall into the trap of seeking validation from others, behavior that could easily lead you to develop an eating disorder. When you base your sense of self-worth on your appearance, your self-esteem is brittle and easily damaged. Any time you feel someone does not appreciate your physical appeal, you will redirect your disappointment and poor-self esteem into “improving” your appearance, either through excessive exercise or restricted eating habits. This is why it is so important to base your sense of self on the innate characteristics which make you uniquely you.

Early sobriety is a critical period in your recovery journey. It is a time of significant change, both externally and internally. You should be working on replacing unhealthy coping mechanisms with healthy ones, and it is important you do not replace one unhealthy behavior with another. Eating disorders are just as deadly and destructive as your substance abuse disorder, and you would be doing a disservice to yourself by developing an eating disorder to cope with your negative emotions in sobriety.

This is why it is so important to immerse yourself in a program of recovery early, as well as seek professional help for these mental illnesses. At Evolutions, we instill our clients with the healthy coping skills they need to succeed in their sobriety. If you are struggling with substance abuse or an eating disorder, call our Admissions Counselors today at 833-818-3031 and take this first step towards freeing yourself from the disease of addiction.


Evolutions is a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center located in beautiful South Florida. Our holistic approach to addiction treatment centers around addressing and healing the underlying issues at the root of addiction, rather than merely medicating symptoms away.

Our treatment program includes individual and group-based therapy to help clients understand and manage their symptoms and emotions.

If you or a loved one is suffering from addiction, alcoholism, or any co-occurring disorders please call us at (833) 818-3031 or