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?


  1. I can understand your position.

    I once was in the same boat. I said I was "recovering" when I wasn't. I kept going back to my old behaviors multiple times. I was not ready to let go of my demons.

    Everything honestly changed when I started seeing Brenda. At first, I was still in the same old behavior and thinking. Gradually, I came to realize that my ED was a huge ball of unresolved issues from my past. As I gradually resolved my issues, I became more whole, and more willing to let go of my ED.

    I don't think I will be completely recovered, to be honest with you, because it has been a BIG part of my life for so long (about a decade or so). But I definitely can manage my choices, and decisions.

  2. I think I understand you although I do not suffer from eating disorders, I think that what you're saying it applies to a lot of difficulties in our lifes. When we want to get out of our deepest self-destructive mechanisms, we must be conscious of it in every level because that what harms us, your illness in this case, takes over at times and makes us act at its own discretion. We have to return the battle that it is giving us. It's hard, as you say, it is cost effective.
    You're gonna kill that bitch!



  3. I know exactly how you feel. It is as if my mind is split in two - there is the side that knows my ED is horrible, wrong, disgusting. And then there is the other side of me that can't help but think about missing it once it's gone. I try to think about my eating disorder like a con-man, try to see it for what it really is. But it's not easy. If you're interested, has a great technique for how to demonize your ED. It's still a struggle for me every day. Thanks for sharing your story, it makes me feel less alone.

  4. I am with you! I recovered half way from AN since 2010, but now a month ago said "I will go all the way". I started eating intuitively. Felt worse than before, but stuck with it. Now have gained a bit, feel dazzled yet things are settling down a bit. I am still gaining - and wondering when it will cease - but will recover no matter what! I want to be healthy and for the rest of my life!!!!!!

  5. It is so hard to disassociate yourself from anorexia. I still have similar thought patterns and habits from when I was struggling with it, and I view myself as recovered. I feel like it is still there under the surface, but to indulge in it is to give power to it.

    There are many times over the years I have "relapsed" and fallen back a bit, but every time you rebound, that "part of you" recedes further into the darkness. Then you can say "No, I'm not even going to go there anymore". It is hard. It is a loss. You feel like you are losing a part of your identity, and to one extent, I still feel that way. But the pain gets less and less, and you realize that you life is so much more than punishing yourself. It's about living.