It’s been two years now.
Two years filled with moments of joy and moments of loss.
Two years of screaming cries of desperation.
And two years of celebrations and triumphs.
These two years hold so much of who I am today.
The two years of moments that I would fall to the ground and refuse to eat, stay in my bed for days on end, and even be left alone in my dark negative thoughts.
The two years of celebrations. Taking my first bite of meat in forever, my first snack I was allowed to construct myself, my first moment that I listed to my stomach when it told me it was hungry, the first time I allowed myself to drink alcohol in ages, the first time I ate a meal without sitting beside the toilet trying to force myself to throw up. And most recently, I just celebrated my first non-diet, sugar filled drink the other day.
Those triumphs may seem small, or even ridiculous perhaps. Drinking juice, or taking a shot of alcohol should never give someone so much anxiety that they will literally topple over in screams of terror. But that’s the reality of how distorted this illness is.
I am learning more and more to be proud of those triumphs. As small as they may be I have a list in one of my journals back home, with the celebrations and steps I took to slowly get healthier. One that I get reminded of every day, my green tea latte. My starbucks order hanged from strictly just tea to a very ED modified latte, to a latte that I now drink on the daily (or sometimes even multiple times a day) as something that I enjoy.
According to Google,
Recovery (noun ): a return to a normal state of health, mind, or strength.
Now I have been grappling with this definition a lot recently, understanding that I am in treatment for my disorder, getting stronger each day, and learning how to combat these behaviours on my own. BUT to me, recovery means that I am slowly learning how to control and handle my ED tendencies. Recovery to me means that I am learning how to quiet the urges to purge, to restrict and even the thoughts that fill my mind about how I see myself. Recovery does not mean that I will be perfect, heck I even told Cody last night that things have been harder than they have in a while recently.
The reality is that I haven’t been perfect, I have slipped up, I have had moments where I restrict, or even have temptations to purge. I have been really consumed with the desire to fall further and further back into this disorder, to go back to a place where it controlled my every thought and movement – and that’s NORMAL in recovery, that’s a signal of when you need to reach out and tell someone about your dangerous thoughts. It’s all about talking to people, finding the support and encouragement in those times when you can’t be strong enough to handle it alone without falling into this disorders temptations.
I’ve been scared to tell people. My first fear is that I will get my independence stripped from me again. That was by far one of the most frustrating parts when I first got emitted into the recovery program, being 18 but being monitored and controlled by my parents as if I were an infant again. But something Ashley has been really pressing on me in my last few sessions, which I struggled to believe, is that it is good to come to people when you’re feeling weak. When I admit that I have stumbled, I won’t get in trouble, I wont get stripped away from all my control, I’ll just be encouraged and loved through it all.
I am slowly learning to talk to my parents again, in times that I need their support. I am slowly gaining the courage to speak up and be honest about how things are.
I mean, I have the best family and friends to support, I am the luckiest to have them.