This week my therapist introduced me to the Stages of change model and asked me to journal regarding which stage I felt I was currently in. The fact is, I feel as though I am in-between stages 2 and 3—or that—depending on the day or my mood, I’m in one or the other. I feel ready to take action and am aware of what steps I need to take to further my recovery but I am so terrified of changing the behaviors that I have used for so long. I am aware of all the great benefits of moving onward and staying—to the best of my ability—to the Action stage but I feel as though each route (eating disorder or recovery) offers equal benefits and equal ‘icky parts’ as I have come to refer the negatives to. However, I am taking small steps each day toward recovery. As small as they may be, I am—and want to—be committed to moving forward instead of backward. So I guess if there was a stage 2.5, that is where I would be.
I am glad that my therapist introduced me to this model. I feel it is a useful resource to help determine where you are, where you want to go, and how far you may have come. Though I know that I am not a full-time stage 3, It is relieving to know that I am further than stage one and so close to permanently embarking from stage 2.
Below is a brief description of the five stages of change. Look over them and try to figure where you might be. It may help, it may not. I felt I gained positive insight from the model, hence the blog-post.
Stage 1: Pre-contemplation (Not Ready)
People at this stage do not intend to start the healthy behavior in the near future and may be unaware of the need to change.
Stage 2: Contemplation (Getting Ready)
People at this stage are intending to start the healthy behavior within the next 6 months. While they are usually now more aware of the pros of changing, their cons are about equal to their Pros.
Stage 3: Preparation (Ready)
People at this stage are ready to start taking action very soon. They take small steps that they believe can help them make the healthy behavior a part of their lives.
Stage 4: Action
People at this stage have changed their behavior within the last 6 months and need to work hard to keep moving ahead. These participants need to learn how to strengthen their commitments to change and to fight urges to slip back.
Stage 5: Maintenance
People at this stage changed their behavior more than 6 months ago. It is important for people in this stage to be aware of situations that may tempt them to slip back into doing the unhealthy behavior—particularly stressful situations.