Monday, February 13, 2012

Let's Be Honest: Recovery Warfare

Do you want to recover from your eating disorder?

Do you really want to get better? Wholeheartedly?

For the last five years or so, I have told myself and everyone around me that I genuinely want to recover from my eating disorder. The problem is, that's a lie, sort of. Of course I want to recover from  my eating disorder. Of course I know it's deadly, it's killing me, it has stolen everything from me, destroyed my health, and destroyed my relationships. Of course I want to get better. Don't I? Then why haven't I done it already?

I admit that deep down I have been afraid to fully part with my eating disorder because I feel to some extent defined by it. I realize this thinking is illogical, though all eating-disordered thinking is illogical, and that is precisely the point. I will never be fully recovered unless I am willing to give up my eating disorder. It isn't going to disappear. I have to sacrifice it fully. Give it up. Burn it. Kill it. Destroy it. Forget about it. Let it go. Move on. 

I realize this isn't easy. I know that recovery isn't as simple as making the choice to get better and trying to implement changes in your life; it takes dedication and daily commitment to overcome an eating disorder. Recovery is most definitely an active choice--something we have to work towards and put effort into. But I believe that if we aren't willing to let go of our eating disorders, of course they aren't going to leave us. We have to leave them. We have to put more effort into being well than we put into being sick. Granted, eating disorders aren't choices and all behaviors and compulsions fueled by our eating disorders are/were out of our control. I know that when my eating disorder was at its worst, I put a lot of effort into being sick-- obsessively counting calories, hardcore restricting, adhering to strict workout regimens, etc. Even though this behavior was fueled by madness, I put effort into obeying it. Why can't we take that same amount of effort and discipline and apply it to our recovery? Why can't we channel the dedication and discipline created by our eating disorder and turn it into a weapon to aid in our recovery?

Guess what: we can. And we have to, if we ever want to be free.

I know I am guilty in being "lazy" in my recovery. It's time to get tough. I am kicking my eating disorder's ass and setting it on fire.

Forgetting about it
Letting it go
Moving on

Who's with me?

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Why recovery is STILL worth it

I was invited by Anne-Sophie from Fighting Anorexia to participate in a recovery advocacy project. I, along with Anne-Sophie and a list of other great bloggers, are posting this month on our reasons for recovery. Though I have written on the reasons I entered recovery several times on my blog, one particular entry of mine stands out the most. In August of 2010, I wrote a very short post called "Why Recovery is Worth it". Here is what I said: 
"Why recovery is worth it:
In recovery, you realize your body is special.
You are worth saving.
Life is too short to be miserable, sick, and hungry.
Food has a purpose.
It fuels your body to give you the energy to live.
You will remember what it feels like to hope and to dream.
If you're healthy, you can actually begin to make them come true.
When you're free from your eating disorder, you are free.
Your thoughts are your own.
You don't have to answer to anyone.
You don't have to lie to people or live a double life.
You don't have to feel guilty.
You don't have to hate yourself.
Food is not the enemy.
You don't have to be afraid of food.
Your hair will stop falling out.
Your stomach will stop growling.
You won't be light-headed.
And you won't gain a hundred pounds.
Eventually, you'll stop fighting with the mirror.
You will begin to trust yourself.
You will begin to take care of yourself.
You will begin to love yourself.
You can start over.
It's not too late.
You are worth saving. "

After rereading this post today, I've realized a number of things:
1. I still believe every word I wrote back in August of 2010, even if I don't always follow my own advice. I know that I should, and I'm trying to do better.

2. I believe I am worth saving. I believe you are worth saving too.

3. Sometimes, dedicating your life to recovery once is not enough. Sometimes we fall down. Sometimes we need reminders. Sometimes we need to take a step back, reevaluate where we stand, and learn the best way to move forward. We need to dedicate ourselves forever, not just a moment in time.

4. Transformation is not a future event. It starts now. Today. Don't say you'll begin recovery tomorrow or next week or next month or when you've lost another five lbs. Do it now. None of us have any promise of tomorrow. Life is too short, too beautiful, too precious, and too fleeting. Even if your world is so dark you can't possibly see that right now, I promise you, it is.
Recovery is possible. Recovery is worth it. Recovery is necessary.

I also once said: "But I've realized recovery doesn't mean boring. It doesn't mean normal or mediocre or bland. Recovery just means healthy. How can I be spectacular and different and unique if I'm dead? Anorexia = another statistic. Anorexia = death. Dead means dead. Dead means it's over. No more chances. No coming back. But with recovery comes hope. Hope means good things will come. Recovery means energy. Energy means I can do all the things I want to do. Recovery means promise. Promise means a chance to be all the things I want to be. Recovery means life. It means more than life. It means to be alive. Unique. Special. Free."

Are you ready for freedom?
What will you do today to take steps toward recovery?
What does recovery mean to you?