Wednesday, May 4, 2011

recovery and me

Things have been going really well in regards to my recovery. And it's truly a blessing. Because with how tightly the eating disorder has had itself wrapped around me for years and years...and years, and throughout my struggle to recover, my free-falls, and my relapses - I was starting to doubt that I would ever be strong enough to really truly find recovery. It seemed like every time I was on the right track, or making progress... it wasn't long before the ed would push me down and pull me back into it's world...over and over and over... I was getting tired of fighting and always losing the fight.

That's why I am so very grateful to be able to say that I am doing better than I EVER have since I developed my eating disorder. There are still things that I struggle with, some days more than other days. But I think the difference is - the behaviors don't happen as often as they used to (at all) and when I do lean on them in a moment of stress, fear, sadness, a need for some sort of control... whatever the feeling/issue is at that moment - most of the time I am able to stop myself before it gets too far, I am able to reach out to people to help me distract, reason with me and talk it out (I still struggle a ton with distorted thinking - especially when my emotions/feelings are involved), or they are able to help stop me from engaging in the behavior.

I have stopped appointments with my treatment team (except for my doctor once a month) and that has been very strange for me as I am so used to treatment being a part of my life (at one level of care or another) but I think that I have been doing pretty darn good on my own, and leaning on friends & family too, of course. Don't worry though, I am keeping a watchful eye on my behaviors and I promised myself (and my loved ones) to be honest about where I am at in my recovery. And even though I do enjoy this new "freedom" I made a promise that if I feel like I am slipping - I will be honest with my family, friends, and myself... and reach out for extra help or support again until I am back on my feet. I hope that won't happen, but there is nothing wrong with admitting to yourself and others that you need a little extra support and care sometimes. 

I think the things that I am struggling the most with right now are: coping with my feelings/stress/LIFE without having my ed to lean on or escape into. I am learning to discover who "jenn" is. What she likes, what she thinks, what she feels... and it's been hella scary!! - but it's also been exciting and freeing at times too. I have been so used to filtering all of those things through my eating disorder that I didn't really know what "jenn" likes. But each day, I am learning these things. 

Also, it's been difficult to actually feel my feelings and process emotions that I would usually numb out or avoid through the ed. I am learning to live a different way. A healthy way - and it takes time, practice, patience, and love for myself to get me through it. Because I know that the other (healthier) side of this illness is so much happier and truly a life worth living.

There have been so many wonderful things, opportunities, & people that have come into my life (or who have always been in my life, and I am allowing them in more and more as I get stronger) that have shown me just how wonderful my life can be once I can fully let go of my ed. And as these months have gone by, it continues to give me the confidence I need to believe that I am strong enough to find life in recovery. To move on and live a full life. A good life! My life has been very busy lately, but it's a good busy. It's a healthy busy. And dare I say that I am even... happy!? That's a word I never thought I would honestly be able to say out loud. I am finally allowing myself to be happy. I am unraveling myself from the chains of the eating disorder and even though the chains are still constantly trying to wrap around me - I do my best to push them off and run into the arms of the people I love and the things in my life that make me happy and make me a better me. And distract me in a healthy way.

The other thing that I am struggling a ton with is body image (and insecurities about my body and myself in general). I have been able to maintain this new "healthy" body for quite a few months now, and there are days when I seem to be okay with the weight that I am at - but most days, I feel uncomfortable. I know I am at the weight that my body naturally wants to be at. But it's hard for me to accept that this is that weight. I am still not used to this "bigger" body. Curves in places that I have never had them before... I know logically, that I am still thin because people tell me that I am (a healthy, normal thin - instead of a sickly very underweight thin) but it's so hard for me to see that when I look at myself. I wish I could, perhaps that would make this part of my recovery easier for me to cope with. But I just keep trying to tell myself that I am beautiful, that I am healthy, that I don't need to be skin and bones to feel somewhat attractive... even though I never really did then either. Funny how that works... just another lie the ed tells you and has you believe. And like I mentioned earlier, there are days when I am okay with my body, and even though they aren't as often as the days I feel fat and gross, and wish I was smaller again - the positive days are there and that's the important thing right now. And my hope is that the longer I am in recovery and maintaining at this weight - the more often I will be able to accept, be comfortable, and even love my body.

I just wanted to update everyone on how I have been doing since it's been a few months since I have written on here. I am good. I am happy. I am healthy. And each day, I am getting closer and closer to a life without ed, and a life worth living. And I am so grateful to the people in my life (the ones who have always been there, and the new ones who have become so important to me in my life) for loving me, supporting me, and helping me find my happiness. I am a lucky girl. I recognize that, and am grateful for that every day.


  1. Wow this is such a great post! I'm so happy that you are finally at a great place in recovery and you feel no need to return to anorexia :)
    I am the same way in terms of never wanting to go back! That life sucks. Cuz it's no life at all.
    Anyway, I'm also dealing with body-image issues. I, too, think I look good on some days and fat on others. But I think you're right that the longer we stay in recovery, the more accepting we will become of our bodies.
    Can't wait to read more about your progress!

  2. I loved this post. It's filled with such great energy and it sounds like you're making some wonderful progress. Cheers to you for sticking to it and continuing to work hard. HUGS!!!