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?


  1. I disagree that recovery from an eating disorder is possible. My successful system in managing bulimic tendencies has become my lifestyle, one that I absolutely adore. In a sense, an innocent bystander could view me as recovered because I eat, I don’t binge, I don’t purge, and I live life to its fullest. But I do not and shall not ever consider my disposition as one of recovered, for there is never an end to attempting to achieve perfection, a better state of being, a more profound state of health. ”Recovery” is synonymous with “better,” and if a person can stop achieving a grander state of “better,” then they are selling themselves short. :)

    1. I'm a bit confused by your comment. It seems as though you are glorifying "managing" bulimic tendencies instead of treating your eating disorder, which is dangerous and potentially deadly.

      Recovery from an eating disorder is possible, but that doesn't mean you never have symptoms again. It's like an alcoholic recovering from alcoholism. Maybe they never drink again, but it doesn't mean they don't think about it from time to time. Recovery is an active choice we have to make to overcome eating-disordered thoughts, tendencies, and behaviors. It requires letting go. Refusing to shed our identity as anorexic or bulimic or whatever is damaging. If you tell yourself recovery is never possible, then it never will be. I hope you don't feel like I am attacking you. I wish nothing but health and wellness for you. I'm just bothered by your willingness to defend your "bulimic tendencies" which I think could potentially trigger other readers or deter them from going through with recovery.

  2. i received an email from you, indicating that a response was applied to my comment. but i'm unable to find that response here. sorry if this follow-up looks out of place. like you, i've been through the ringer, having suffered from anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating for 11 years. i've been clean for 18 months and 4 days. i write about my experiences at if you're interested in learning about my objectivist stance that each person is different and will absolutely view life after their eating disorder in a different light, then your readership is very welcome. i wish you well in your kind life of good health.

  3. no offense is taken, whatsoever. in fact, i appreciate your response. i hold very true to my management system and lifestyle, and i appreciate that you do to yours. there is more than one way to live life after an eating disorder, and i am happy to know that others are out there, doing their own things, just as i'm doing mine.

    as far as the obligation to my readers is concerned, i will hereby cite what's already clearly defined at my blog:

    i’ll just quote my previously stated blog comments on the subject:

    participation in this blog community mandates a strict obligation to fellow bloggers and readers. i am acutely conscious of every word that i type and publish. intensely scrutinising my language and message, i aim to provide the best snapshot of my ‘life after bulimia‘ that a girl with good intentions possibly can.

    in addition to this heartfelt commitment, i maintain a strict obligation to myself, one to be roughly honest, through sharing of my experiences. i bleed with passion about raising awareness about eating disorders, and i expect that my passion will be respected at this forum. i fully respect the passion of others, inviting constructive criticism to my articles. (the legal beagle.)

    And for the ostentatious critics who hold me accountable for 17-year-olds finding my site and developing warped ideas on health and happiness, I hereby lay down the law, accusing these persons of placing a little bit too much responsibility on just a girl who blogs. A gun manufacturer is responsible for producing guns that fire on command and for maintaining safety when dormant. The manufacturer is not responsible when an angry man takes the gun and fires at a room of school children. i have homosexuality.

  4. What a beautiful post! This will be helpful for many who are struggling with an eating disorder. Thank you for being such an important voice in this fight against EDs.

  5. Thank you for this post. It was something I needed to read.

  6. Very good reasons to recover!!! I agree with them all :-)

  7. This is such an inspiring post! I have struggled with anorexia and have finally found the strength to get help. I have found a lot of good tips about stopping at More than anything, it is posts like this that help me realize that I can overcome anorexia!