I am hoping I can make some sort of intelligible connections with the recent place I am mentally related to eating disorder recovery, so if you can glean something helpful, way to go for comprehending my ramblings, and if you have feedback, tips or a reality check, I am all ears.
For anyone in recovery, I am sure you’ve heard the comments which are intended to be motivating or have received the tough love, reverse psychology approach some misinformed friends or family use to accelerate recovery. Or maybe in their own way they hope it will return you to the person you were prior to an eating disorder, I don’t know.
I don’t know because I do not remember who I was before anorexia. I’ve lost sight of the freedom to eat a meal without fixating on irrelevant details such as the size of the plate, the name of the dish, especially if it has adjectives about size or weight in the title. Reading over this last sentence makes me feel screwy, because logically I know, who in their right mind cares? This is my experience with an eating disorder. It makes no sense, it has no rhyme or reason except to slowly kill me
Today I went out for an enjoyable lunch with coworkers, and that damn bitch of an eating disorder screwed with my head the whole time. The mental exhaustion of logically knowing despite having to interact with food you possess the ability to socially assimilate with others, but then the thoughts, feelings and associated obsessions come boiling to the surface. Oh, and we can’t forget the planning for the future to undo any perceived bit of damage whether real or a blatant lie.
Please someone tell me when does it stop? Maybe it’s just been today and if I hold to the truth that tomorrow will be better this will come to fruition, but this is where I am right in the moment.
Recovery is frustrating, uncomfortable, difficult, tiring, however, I had little glimpses of what it felt like to be free of this prison, although a brief respite from the madness. I am thankful for these memories of clarity, because I do not know if I could have continued down this path or would have even survived this hellacious war for the past 20 tormenting years if this journey would have been one unending relapse.
I truly hate anorexia more than I did when I was 13 or even 23, but where I am I going wrong when it comes to recovery? Why care about a stupid number on the scale, or in clothing sizes that logically means nothing?
I’ve been trying to follow my old ass meal plan and try not to obsess over the specifics, but without fail eating equals feeling full, which then translates into illogical distorted perceptions of my body and then it’s time for reconstruction mode to kick in since the symbolic voice will not shut up with the self-deprecating comments. Now, I try to remind myself, Anjie, you don’t have to give the eating disorder control, but I have this irrational fear of losing it altogether.
If I actively work at recovery each day with all its messy, emotional, exposures of my vulnerabilities and weaknesses, then what of me? What will people think if I cry over a stupid snack or meal because I intensely emotionally and physically feel too much? I am supposedly a 33-year-old professional, daughter, Mother, friend, and sister, but the way my mind works some days I feel as if I am not worthy of these titles.
I hate sitting with those feelings with nowhere to go and nothing productive to do. Yes, I have tried the distraction techniques which temporarily work, however, I am realizing the pressure to measure up, to keep up, to be who I long to be is a double-edged sword.
While outwardly I am sort of successful. I graduated with my MSW, have a wonderful fulfilling job and authentic friendships I wouldn’t trade for the world, in the long-run what am I really doing? What if everyone knew who I really was or the not-so-good mental health days?
By avoiding recovery, being passive, sort of motivated but not, actively restricting but fighting back with all I have some day’s over others, how will this sorted soul-sucking story end?
God, right now I do not have the answers. I do not have the strength to deal with dinner, but I must. I must because you haven’t brought me this far for me to give up. I will divide and conquer and if so be it I will fake it until I “make it.”
For anyone in a similar place, know you are not alone, and we may not have all the answers to the questions at this exact moment, or even quickly win each battle of relapse and recovery, but let’s cling to the assurance recovery and overall wellness are possible with faith, hope, love, dedication and healthy supports.
Until next time, be well