Everyone said that recovery wasn't going to be easy, but it wasn’t until I was tackling it, full force, that I realized how truly difficult it was going to be. For as long as I could remember, my eating disorder was there to help me cope with all of life’s difficulties. Now, in recovery I am forced to deal with it all like a “normal” person. Having to actually feel my emotions as they come up and not just keep them all bottled up inside. No one told me about the endless sleepless nights, lying awake with millions of thoughts running through your head. No one told me about how truly tough it would be, mentally AND physically, to teach yourself how to eat properly again. But all of the exhaustion, tears, and pain are worth it to be able to experience life
In the early stages of recovery, you are still so vulnerable, trying to reverse years and years of insane eating habits and behaviours. The smallest little thing or “trigger” can send you off down a very very slippery slope. At the bottom of this slope is ED, waiting for you with his arms open wide. Ready to embrace you back into his miserable life. This slope is so dangerous. Sometimes you don't even realize how slippery it actually is. You begin to make your way down it, and then by the time you realize how slippery this slope truly is, you’re stuck in the middle of it, trying to figure out what your next best option is. Do I fight and climb my way back up? That way seems like a lot of hard work. Do I just sit on my butt and slide down the rest of the way? Surely that would be much easier. Or I could always just jump off the slope into the waters below. No, that option is most definitely not the right one. I refuse to let ED win.
To some extent, this is where I am right now. In the middle of the slope carefully observing my two real options. Surely it would be easier at this moment to slide down and be embraced by ED, but i’m not even letting myself consider that option anymore. I will fight and climb my way back up to the top. Yeah its going to be tough, and there will be lots of frustration, anger, hurt and tears along the way, but this choice is going to be the one that continues moving me forward in recovery.
“Short term pain for long term gain”.
I’ve experienced the freedom that recovery from an eating disorder brings you. I’ve seen the hope in my eyes. I’ve heard the stories of other recovered people and continue to have their words of wisdom and encouragement resonate with me. I have gained the tools and skills to help me through difficult feelings and situations. These are the things that I have to constantly remind myself of. I must take the time to appreciate the moments of freedom and happiness that I experience. I must sit with the bad days and bad moments and remember that these feelings are just temporary and they too shall pass. I must remind myself daily that “you look so much healthier” is a compliment from people trying to be supportive for me, and there is nothing more to it. I must continue to reach out to people for help; family, friends, girls in my support group, counsellors or my dietician. I must remember I am important and loved by so many people. I must remember that there is so much more to life then this eating disorder.
“Be gentle. You’ve been at war with your body for so long. Peace takes time.”
Recovery IS possible. It is possible for anyone. Those of us with eating disorders like to think that we are extra special, and that we are going to be the one person who isn't capable of recovery, but in reality thats not true. Each of us are just as capable as the other, and if we work hard enough we all can experience the freedom and happiness of living without ED.
So that’s what I am going to do. Fight my way back up the slope, however difficult it may be, and to the life I know that I deserve, ED free.
“Philippians 4:13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength”