When it comes to relapse others around you might not even notice that you are relapsing unless you begin to show signs or the eating disorder behaviours. So the best thing is that if you notice you are beginning to relapse, Talk to someone. Communicate. It can be hard to talk especially when the eating disorder voice/control begins to get stronger again and that old compulsions and habits are being used again. But you need to realise that if you dont try to stop the relapse at the beginning it will just worse and you will spiral down again, and that is most likely not a place you want to be at.
It can be good to think about what triggered you or caused you to relapse, because often there is a cause such as stress, low self esteem, maybe getting comments from people etc So knowing that triggered you or caused you to begin using eating disorder habits and coping mechanisms again can help you from falling back again later on in life.
Also be honest to yourself about the fact that you are relapsing. Be honest about what habits you have begun to use again and try to change them. The habits and thoughts wont go away unless you make them go away, and that is tough, it is challenging but it is possible to fight them and face those fears and be free of them. But that means that you have to decide to change.
Dont accept half recovery or relapse. If you think you cant, then you cant. But if you think you can, then you can!!! You have to believe that you can fully recover and want to fully recover as well!!!
Dont tell yourself that "you dont want to be a burden" or "admit that you have fallen back again" or "think you arent strong when you were doing so well but now relapsing" or that "there is nothing wrong". First off, you arent a burden just because you relapse, however if you struggle in silence and keep falling down then it will become a burden eventually when instead you could have asked for help in the beginning and not have to fight your way back even longer. And also, relapse happens... infact relapse is alot more common than people think though not everyone admits they have relapse and instead just live a life of half recovery. But relapse is nothing to be ashamed about, instead asking for help and making sure to keep fighting and not allowing yourself to fall back farther.
If you begin to develop another eating disorder, then make sure to talk to someone. It happens, peolpe who had anorexia can develop binge eating disorder or bulimia or orthorexia, or people who struggled with binge eating can develop anorexia it happens. But the important thing is to not be ashamed about it or think "wow, i had such self control and didnt eat anything, and now i cant stop myself from eating" or think "before i couldnt stop eating, now i dont eat at all so this is better when i dont eat/eat very little". Going from one eating disorder to another is not ok, and it happens so it is important to be honest about yourself and notice the warning signs and not be scared to speak up about it. I struggled with binge eating and purging for a few months and it was awful... going from barely eating at all, to suddenly eating everything in the cabinets and having to replace the food because i would eat whole loaves of bread, whole packages of cereal and even a whole cake, and i couldnt stop myself. But i had to realise the warning signs and that what i was doing was another eating disorder and the first thing to do was to eat regular meals and stop the purging and eventually the binges and craving for binges stopped.
When it comes to relapse the important thing to remember is that "one time" is not always one time. I.e if you feel guilty or very full after eating a meal and think, well i'll purge it will only be once, that is not always the case. Or you think, i'll skip a meal becuase you want to save calories.... that might not be the only time it happens. Stop the relapse before you fall further down and remember you arent weak for relapsing it happens, you are strong for fighting and hopefully fighting towards full recovery!!!
And last note, like mentioned earlier. Work on the things that caused the relapse, or things you know you might need to improve as well as working on your thoughts. Because food isnt the problem, thats your way of coping whether its only eating certain foods, restricting or binge eating... its about control and not so much about the food but things in your life that you need to work on!
I have many posts about relapse which might help, if you check out my relapse tag HERE