Thursday, May 10, 2012
Five words that represent my eating disorder are:
1. zombie - I was literally the walking dead. I was not present in my life. You can't be when your brain and your body are so starved. I was alive (barely at times) but I was not living. I would just go through the motions but a lot of the time I wasn't really there - I was off in my own zoned-out world. There are periods of my life (during the more severe years of my eating disorder) that I don't remember much. There are missing pieces in my memory from those times. Being a walking zombie is no way to live. It's a way of slowly dying.
2. control - What started out as a young girl (me) desperately searching for some sort of control, comfort, & escape in a world that seemed so out of control... quickly developed into that very thing (the ed) taking over and being the one in control. It happened before I even understood what was going on, and by then it was too late. I felt bound to my eating disorder. And as hard as I tried, I could not break free from it. And for the longest time, I was terrified of letting go of my eating disorder because I felt like my world would completely fall apart and become out of control (even though that is exactly what was happening because of my eating disorder...) How irrational is that!? But that was what I honestly believed. My thoughts and beliefs had become so distorted, confused, & mix-up that I didn't know what to believe anymore.
3. lonely - Isolated and misunderstood. Those were things I very much felt while struggling with my eating disorder. The isolation and loneliness because I had to keep so many secrets. I couldn't let people in to my world because my eating disorder was my world. It's a very lonely place to be. I lost myself, I lost who I was and the things that mattered to me in my life. Even when I was around friends and family - I still felt alone because I couldn't let them in very far. I kept most people at a distance because I was afraid of them knowing my "secret." I felt very misunderstood with the people in my life who knew I had an eating disorder because I didn't feel like they understood me, what I was feeling, or what I was going through. They didn't understand why I was doing these things to myself and why I couldn't stop. It was a lonely place to be.
4. painful - Eating disorders are painful. Very painful. The emotional pain (that I tried to numb out with my eating disorder and also that I had to confront and heal through my recovery) was very painful and nearly unbearable. The physical pain (from the damage the eating disorder caused my body and also the recovery process & re-feeding process to regain my health - that I had to deal with multiple times due to many relapses) was very painful and nearly killed me. Literally. This list could go on and on... there has been a lot of pain.
5. deadly - My eating disorder was killing my spirit. It was killing my soul. It was killing me. That is the number one goal of an eating disorder and it won't stop until it has succeeded.
Five words that represent my recovery are:
1. love - In recovery I have found love. I have rediscovered the things that I used to love before my eating disorder. I have discovered new things in my life that I now love and enjoy. I have become so much closer to my friends and family, and am able to love them so much more now. I have reconnected with my spirituality and my relationship with God and my love for Him has strengthened so much. I have found love in the simple things in life. I am finally learning to love myself (imperfections and all). I met and have fallen in love with the man of my dreams. My best friend. My everything. Because of recovery, I am able to give and receive love more fully, and because of recovery, I have fallen in love with life again. (I mentioned this in a previous post, so sorry if it is a repeat for some of you).
2. protect - This word has two meanings for me. At one of the treatment centers I went to, they would often tell us to "protect your recovery." And that is something that is so very important to me. Recovery is a fragile thing. It can crack and break if we are not careful. I know for me, even though I am strong in my recovery - I still have my low moments, my hard times, and my triggers. And I need to make sure that I stay mindful of these things so that I can remain grounded in my recovery. And the other meaning this word has for me is that recovery is a protection for me. Just like I need to protect it - it also protects me. It keeps me safe, healthy, & strong.
3. life - I have my life back. And because I am not spending all of my time, energy, and thoughts on my eating disorder - I am able to live that life. I have so many things I want to do in my life and I can do them now. I have hopes and dreams. I have goals. I have a lot to live for. One of my favorite quotes (I've even thought about getting this as a tattoo...shh, don't tell my momma!) is "I live to love and laugh often."
4. health - This is one of the things I feel very very grateful for. It's been a slow process, and there are still some things that aren't completely healed or working right (and might never be) but I am truly amazed at the resilience my body has. Through all of the years I struggled with my eating disorder, I damaged my body inside and out. And to have my health is something I will never take for granted. Our bodies are incredible.
5. strength - I am not longer that timid, insecure, fragile, scared girl I used to be. I am a strong, independent, hopeful, happy woman. And I have found this through my recovery. I have been through so much in my life and I have come out on the other side stronger and wiser than ever. I know I can handle anything life brings my way because I have that strength and that courage. So life... bring it on! I am ready!