We bounce back.
Things happen – we know this… things unexpectedly happen, but life still goes on.
Life is still going on. I took a hit in the gut finding out my weight, but I have options of how to deal with it. I could allow my world to stop and become engulfed in the eating disorder, or I could muscle through it.
I always talk about how our life is made up of choices and we can choose what we want, when we want. When you have an eating disorder, sometimes that choice is incredibly hard to make! It’s hard because you have a screaming voice in your head telling you every fear you have and then portraying that fear onto the food in front of you.
The hit I took was hard – and when I say hard, I mean fucking hard. It’s a hard hit because not knowing my weight has been something I’ve protected for about 1.5 years in recovery. It’s hard to stop weighing yourself when you have anorexia – that in itself is an accomplishment, but then going blind weights is even harder.
So, in life we have these bumps in the road that we all meet at some point or another. My bump this week could look very different than your bump. Maybe your bump is a difficultly in your job, tough college classes, or a family situation. Either way, when those bumps happen, we have a choice to make – we can either stand up and bounce back, or we can let the situation swallow us whole.
I got some great support from a friend, Jennie Anne, who gave me some great support after finding out about my weight. Jennie Ann mentioned that it’s not me who found out the weight and is freaking out about it, it’s Ed (you know, that abusive “boyfriend” in our head). The eating disorder is the one searching for these things, and the eating disorder is the one who found out and is freaking out, no ME (well, kind of…haha).
So, I have a choice to make – to follow the thoughts, or to battle and fight the thoughts.
At this crossroad, there are many things that I have to take into consideration:
- If I follow the thoughts and restrict, then I am letting the eating disorder win
- If I follow the thoughts and restrict, I will begin a spiral down that is difficult to stop
- If I follow the thoughts and restrict, I will lose control very fast (even though I feel like I have control)
- If I follow the thoughts and restrict, I will be back in the same place I was before and my hard-fought battles will feel like they were for nothing.
- If I battle the thoughts and get back on the meal plan, I will slowly feel empowered (let’s be honest, the first several meals are going to really suck)
- If I battle the thoughts and get back on the meal plan, the ED thoughts will slow down because they are not being enforced by my actions – ultimately giving me control again
- If I battle the thoughts and get back on the meal plan, I will feel pride for holding on
- If I battle the thoughts and get back on the meal plan, I will be still be walking forward in recovery, and when the dust settles later I will not be upset about my actions because mistakes happen
So, as I weigh out my options (pun intended …hahaha) I can tell that there really isn’t much of an argument. I know that battling the thoughts is the right thing to do, but I also know that it is the harder path to take, and it won’t be pretty, by any means!
So, if I want health, happiness, love, fun and spontaneity, I have to the battle the thoughts. The eating disorder gives nothing of that (although we lie to ourselves and pretend that it does). Mistakes happen all the time. I’m a teacher and I teach that we have to make mistakes to learn! So, I hit this bump and fell flat on my face – what I’m realizing is that it’s not about what happens, but how I react. I will really know where I stand in recovery when I respond in this moment to this event. This is always my turning back point – probably the same for many people who suffer from EDs. Obviously my way wasn’t working, so I really only have once choice and that is to try to trust the professionals and fight the thoughts. Does that mean I will cry through the next several meals? YES. But when they are over, I will realize that nothing has really changed and that if I want my metabolism to level out (because my body takes forever to heal! NO LIE), then I have to stay on track. The doctors told me, in order to fix my hunger cues, metabolism and gastrointestinal system, I have to be on my meal plan CONSISTENTLY for 6-12 months without restricting and making mistakes…. Holy cow…. So, instead of looking at it that way, I can just think of it in this way:
Instead of looking at the larger picture, think about today; now; this moment. What has to be done to reach where I want to go? Answer that questions and just do it. The end doesn’t matter right now, in life, the journey is what matters. As I walk this journey, what do I want to build and confirm to myself? I want to prove that I’m a fighter and I’m worth what is at the end. Instead of thinking about how much is ahead of me, all I really have to worry about is the here-and-now. Right now, I can make my steps forward and moments later, when I look back, I will be proud that I did.
We can all bounce back.