When I started this whole recovery process, I never thought I would still be sitting where I’m at now. I had some idea about recovery being challenging, but I figured it got easier. I expected it to get easier each day. I thought I would be pretty good by now. I didn’t imagine I would still be in therapy and struggling more now than when I was out of treatment.
Recovery isn’t a path that’s always moving up. That’s not even close to what I’ve experienced lately.
I’ll be the first to tell you that recovery can plain suck. There is no sugar coating my bad days, like the past two-ish weeks. It’s a constant battle that you don’t always want to fight. It’s tons of crying and hating where you are and being uncomfortable. The Ed thoughts can feel so loud and overpowering.
Despite how hard recovery is and has been for me lately, I think it’s important to look at my good days.
Good days pre-recovery meant eating as little as possible. This would lead to me having no energy at all, being moody, and plain miserable. Sure, I was thin. Yeah, I did get noticed for that. In truth, however, I wasn’t happy. It was all euphoria that Ed produced to hide all the hurt I was actually feeling.
Even with how much Ed has been trying to convince me I’ve done well these past few weeks, a part of me knows deep down that isn’t true. I have felt terrible. I don’t have energy for school or my youth girls or photography. I can’t stop thinking of food. I have no hope for the future again. I have lost some weight, but I still hate my body. I am having way more depressive and anxiety thoughts. I am starting to believe it isn’t worth following Ed if I have to deal with all this.
Good days in recovery are what I want to live. Even having part of a day that’s good is way better than my best days pre-recovery. In recovery I am making new friends. I am helping others. I am a youth leader. I am laughing and smiling. I can eat and be okay with it. I can enjoy what the world has to offer.
I want to offer a quick comparison. Last Wednesday, I was at the church for Awana after following Ed all day. I barely talked to anyone. I’m pretty sure I didn’t smile once. I wanted to sleep. People kept asking if I was okay. I didn’t want to be there at all. Fast forward to Sunday and there was a complete flip. I followed my meal plan for breakfast then headed to church. I got more hugs than I could count that morning. I could smile. I paid attention to the sermon. After lunch, I went with the youth pastor’s family to their daughter’s soccer game and then to the church. I laughed so much at the game. I took tons of great pictures. I enjoyed myself thoroughly. I ate when we got back to the church. It was challenging, but I had Kim and her daughter there supporting me. I felt good after doing it. Overall, that day was one of the funnest in a very long time.
It’s easy to see that my good days for Ed are bad for me, and vice versa. I want to live again. I want more days like Sunday and far less like Wednesday. I am going to fight this demon.
God didn’t design me to suffer from this disorder forever. I am not going to be 40 and still sick. He has such bigger plans for me that I can’t even begin to comprehend yet. The first step towards them is recovery. I absolutely need to stick through with this. I am going to push forward. One step at a time, I will defeat anorexia.