When I went to bed last night, I crawled under the covers and stared up at the ceiling. As soon as I closed my eyes, I was smacked with a major revelation.
Since my eating disorder first began, I always assumed it was my body's twisted way of coping with the death of my father. (We were very close. I loved him more than words can even begin to express. He died only a year before it all "began").
But last night I realized:
My eating disorder was actually my way of NOT coping with the death of my father.
That's why it still hurts so much. That's why it's impossible to visit my childhood home. That's why I try to run away from it all. Because I've never properly dealt with it. I've never moved on.
I focused all of my energy into my own eating disorder. Most people agree that anorexia is about control. If I couldn't control the death of my father, then I could control what I ate. I could control my weight. I could be perfect. Then, of course, I realized all too late that perfection is unattainable and I couldn't control anything--that I was very much trapped under the weight of my dependence. And nothing was resolved.
And six years later, still nothing has been resolved.
I could occupy all of my time thinking about food. I could spend all day long starving myself and reveling in my misery. I could hate myself. I could feel sorry for myself. I could count calories like nobody's business and work out until my joints ached. I didn't have time to think about anything else--especially not how much it hurt not having my father around.
So where does that leave me now?
I feel like my father and I need to come face to face, metaphorically speaking. I need to sit down and talk with him. I need to go to his grave, sit down upon the earth, and do some serious soul searching.
I realize recovery is about more than freeing myself from my eating disorder. It's about freeing myself from all the sadness and darkness and pain that I'm harboring.
I can't get better until I accept he's not coming back.