You can’t return from B to A. It’s good to realize that in recovery – it really helps. When you realize A existed in a world where you didn’t know all that you know and hadn’t lived through all that you have, you can imagine the future as beyond-all-letters-wonderful. My illness and recovery sure isn’t an A to B story, it’s an A to F to C to P to K to….[this here is future]. The future will necessarily be better than anything you have experienced during your illness, this I know. I shouldn’t be afraid of it, because all the darkness of the illness will leave and what is left is a world in which I can breathe. A world without terror and all-consuming fear, a world without care for this and this calorie content, weight, anxiety attack, all-consuming doom. Ah, it sounds heavenly, but I don’t know how exactly it will taste when it’s here. Possibly rainbow-strawberries.
It’s really important to taste the rainbow (sorry that’s such a lame reference…). If you have no window in your box, how will you know that the outside exists. I had forgotten that there can be life without the illness, that I didn’t always feel so terrible. When I had the experience of the symptoms lifting through the very conscious effort I made to fix my eating, it was an addictive experience. The happiness I felt when I was able to nourish myself properly was the kind of happiness I had no prior experience of. Of course I had experienced it before, but memories fade quickly and because since about late 2009 or early 2010 I had been ill, they had had time to fade a lot.
I don’t believe eating disorders are addictions in the way alcoholism is thought to be. An addiction implies that there is always a danger of relapsing. I have faith that when one has fully recovered from an ED, the daily fear of relapsal (that’s not a word is it) vanishes. But I must say – recovery-style happiness is addictive. It’s a drug I constantly want in ridiculous quantities. I am chasing the rainbow (sorry, these are super-lame…)! I am chasing the consciousness not filled with compulsive thoughts and constant extreme self-loathing. It’s nice to sometimes feel that I am not the worst human who has ever existed. It’s nice to feel that I am an okay person. Because I am. The worth of all human individuals is an absolute 1. This does not change, no matter how my illness tries to tell me my worth is –10923049203493204, give or take a few minuses. I am 1! I am 1 and I will very very happily settle for that.