Recovery for me is balancing your life between all the things you want to do because you want to do many things that have zero to do with your ED, and stopping to remember that you aren’t yet able to do all those other things without considering your recovery, because you are not a normal, healthy person yet, but a recoverer. I did not think of my recovery all that much at the weekend, because I was living life. I went to a party, had friends over. Spent time with bae. I didn’t write anything, didn’t process my thoughts on this particular topic. I studied for an exam, did some gardening. Made food from scratch! This morning I woke up feeling uneasy, heavy-hearted and weird.
Naturally I want to forget all about my ED when I can, and run into the world, carefree. But I cannot deny the thoughts I still have, even if they don’t affect my moves and behaviours actively so much anymore. Even if I had a blast at the wedding party I attended on Saturday night and a lovely Sunday with friends and fun and sunshine, I also had a crying panic mess attack on Thursday at the ED clinic upon being weighed (author’s note: we weigh me only so that my worker can make sure my weight doesn’t drop in recovery. I don’t know my weight as it is a trigger for me at the moment and I cannot compromise my recovery by fixating on a number). I was also told some harsh truths I needed to hear about my progress: I am not as far along as I like to think.
Because of course I would like to think. That I am doing great, feeling great, leaving that shitbag boyfriend of mine behind. Bye, ED, bye. If I do fun things, useful things, important things, I don’t have to think about him/her/it. But I do have to think about it. For some time still. People do not recover in days, weeks, months even. My illness lasted a long time, how could recovery be short. I can’t give it a deadline (‘by June 26th I shall be recovered because I have booked the venue for my recovery party already for that particular date and the booking conditions disallow last-minute cancellations…’).
What helps me is to confront everything that I have inside me. Often it turns out to be a clump of anxiety, relating to food, weight, eating, achievements, friendships, loves, etc. It’s a clump that’s been swept under the metaphorical bed of my consciousness, but it’s still there, full of dog hair, dust, paper clips and bits of chewed gum. It’s ugly, but I have a dust pan and a brush. I’ll get rid of it. But to do so, one must peek under the bed at regular intervals, to check its existence. Brush in hand, ready to take action. For a mind that one day shall be satisfactorily dirt-free.