I have had multiple periods of recovery in the past but I'm going to be honest, they were anything but real. They were half hearted and my eating disorder was always still lingering in the back of my mind.
In the past, every time I went to treatment I had the thought of "I'm just going to do this for now until I can return to my eating disorder." I wanted to please people, get them off my back, and appear like I was doing well when in reality I was not truly recovering. I wasn't fully present in the process and more importantly I was getting better for others instead of doing it for myself.
My motive was to appear "well", getting there as soon as possible by simply going through the motions of recovery. Yes this helped to get people off my back but in the long run all it did was hurt me. It made me more secretive and caused me to lie to others as well as myself. I would brainwash myself into thinking I was doing great when really I was feeding the eating disorder voice more, making it stronger than it already was.
This time is different. I can feel the difference from head to toe. I can feel it fully in my mind, body and spirit. I am so grateful for this difference. How do I know? I know because the eating disorder voice is slowly weakening. It is not there shouting things about calories and weight at me. It is not there attempting to manipulate me and those around me. It is beginning to subside, some days I barely even hear it.
I don't feel a motive other than getting well. I am not lying to others or using the tricks I once did in the past. I am present. I am feeling. I am challenging myself in ways I never have before. I am finding myself less preoccupied with my body and the things I put into it. These are things I have never truly felt free from. I have to say that the beginning of this new freedom feels better than just about anything I can think of.
I am beginning to feel proud of myself and what I have accomplished. I am amazed at the challenges I have taken on. I am delighted in the fact that I was the one who placed those challenges before me and thrilled that I was able to get through them, one at a time.
sI wish everyone could experience these feelings. They have filled me with more joy than I ever imagined this process would bring. It is so difficult to picture happiness and recovery when in the depths of an eating disorder. But I am proof that these things are possible. I'm not going to sit here and pretend that the struggle is over, because it's not. Recovery isn't all sunshine and rainbows, it comes with hard times as well. Knowing this helps me to appreciate all the good. It also helps me to realize the tough times will pass and the good times are possible.
I want to thank everyone who has been there on this journey with me. From the ones who have been extremely involved to the ones who may have said one nice thing to me. It all matters and it all makes a difference. Without all the support I have received I don't think I would be in the state I am today. This real state, the one that gives me hope for long term recovery. Like I said before, this time feels real, I can only hope for more amazing days to come.