Saturday, December 11, 2010

finding the joy in life again

At the end of my last post, I mentioned that even though there are a lot of things that I still struggle with... there are some things that I am doing right when it comes to my recovery. So, I want to continue with that thought and talk about one of the major things that has changed recently for me. I believe that is it SO very important to be constantly reminding yourself of the things that you are doing right, the things you are improving on, the recovery successes, and the times that you are able to let another part of the ed go - because the ed is such a master manipulator at making you forget those things and only reminding you of all the things that you are doing wrong, and always telling you how worthless you are. But it's not true! We all have so much worth, and so much to live for!

And I am starting to s l o w l y believe that about myself. And those times that I don't believe it, are the times that I am letting the ed control my thoughts, emotions, & feelings. And that is something that I am working on. It's painful & it's scary - but I am working on it. But at the same time, I know that I am holding a lot of things inside still. My recovery started almost 4 years ago, and throughout this time, I have said that I want recovery and I want to get better - but I have only allowed myself (or my treatment team) to delve only so far into the things that keep me holding on to the ed before I panic and, once again, close myself off from those parts of therapy. Because I am afraid, and because it hurts. It's so much easier to numb all that out with the ed. Ed's are tricky things because they are painful and they hurt but at the same time, they are comforting, familiar, and "safe". Or at least, that is what the ed has been so good at convincing us of.

I need to somehow find a way to be strong enough to forgive myself, I need to learn to love myself, and I need to let go of the things that have happened in the past. I need to heal that young girl who gravitated towards the ed for a sense of control, comfort, and distraction in a world that she felt was spinning out of control! I need to do that to be able to really let go of the ed for good and live a "life worth living."

One of the positive things in my life recently has been the re-emergence & improvement in my social life. Throughout my illness, I have gone back and forth between being social, having friends, and loving to go out and have fun, and always being super busy - to isolating and just wanting to be "alone with the illness." And different levels in-between those two extremes. But lately, I seem to be a lot more busy and I am going out more with friends and having fun hanging out, laughing, enjoying time with the people I love! And also, going out and experiencing life - instead of hiding away and numbing out the world. Which is good. It is really good! (because when I am struggling and consumed with the ed, I tend to isolate a lot and push people away, and I tend to spend a lot of time by myself so I can engage in the behaviors and live in my "own little world.")

And another positive thing that I have been noticing lately is that I will pick doing things and hanging out with people (even if its just being at home with my roommates downstairs in the kitchen or family room instead of up in my room alone) rather than engaging in behaviors. Which is a really good sign that I am more in the driver's seat right now instead of the ed. I still do have those days when I listen to the ed, agree with the ed, and end up staying home and isolating when it is telling me things like...

  • "you haven't exercised today so you need to stay home and make sure you get your exercise in!"
  • "you've already eaten too much today (in the ed's opinion, because it will tell me that even when I have barely eaten) so you can't go out, or if you do, you need to make sure you don't eat anything!"
  • "you are too fat, too gross, too worthless and you will just embarrass yourself if you think you deserve to go out and have fun!"
  • "no one would care if you went or not, they would probably have more fun if you weren't there!"
But thankfully, they aren't happening as often as they sometimes do. And even though those thoughts are always in my head, I also feel like I am in a better place in my recovery to fight off those thoughts more often than listening to them and obeying them. And I realize that those thoughts above sound really harsh and really demanding - but these are the kinds of things (along with many many many many many more things!) that the ed has been constantly telling me since I was younger. So it's really hard for me to not believe these things when I have heard them, listened to them, and believed them for so long.

But thankfully, I have amazing roommates, who are also some of my closest friends, and I have amazing friends and family too(!) who won't let me be alone, and they push me to go out and have fun during times when I am struggling and just want to be alone. I love my roommates, my friends, and my family because somehow they can see me through all of this madness. And I am grateful for them. I have lost too many people in my life because the ed got in the way. I don't want to lose anyone else, and I hope to be able to mend some of the relationships that have been destroyed or torn because I have chosen the ed instead of them...

So the point of this blog post today is to say that - jenn is being more social and having more fun! And more importantly... jenn is wanting to be (and allowing herself to be) more social and have more fun! Yippee for recovery, for moving forward, and for choosing life instead of the eating disorder! ; )


  1. I'm glad you have such a great support system. I love the positive aspect of this quote. Hold onto this attitude. It will get you far. Know that you are strong, obviously, and CAN DO IT! :)


  2. This post is really encouraging to me! Recovery is such a long, slow process but I'm glad that you are learning to enjoy life again. After living in the numbness of an eating disorder for so long, waking up to the beauty of life is incredible.

    You are so strong! You can and will beat this! Have a great week!

    Thank you so much for your comment on my blog! =]

  3. This post was great. It's so good to hear you're going out more and being social and having fun in your life. You totally deserve that! HUGS!!!