There comes a point where you realize that “this is it”. It’s the point where you know you will recover – if you want to. Please note that “if you want to” is the key phrase in that sentence.
Let me explain this “point” I’m talking about.
After years of struggling through various levels of treatment, there is this breaking point where you realize, “hey, I really can recover”…… but that does not come without a price. That point, when you realize that you can do it, you also realize that, to do so, you have to give up the eating disorder. You realize that, in order for you to move forward, you must to give it up…. completely.
I hit that point last night.
Let’s back up to several weeks/months ago.
It’s been a struggle. One that has been getting harder lately. I seem to have stumbled and nothing could pull me out. I found myself, on many occasions, frustrated in therapy because this all felt like this process was “too much” and I just “didn’t have the strength” to keep going. I can’t tell you the many times I have been in a fight with my therapist (well, she probably doesn’t call them fights, but I was fired up and mad –really, she just sits there with a calm demeanor and just listens…. Not much of a fight when it’s one-sided).
Let’s use some awesome pictures to show you what I’m talking about:
I tell her I’m frustrated…. she nods and acknowledges that a tantrum is coming…. and then it comes…. the tantrum (Maybe it’s not to this degree, but I definitely tantrum).
Back to the point.
I have already written about grounding yourself and finding something that is stronger than you to help you through. It doesn’t matter what it is, but you need something for when you don’t have the strength to keep going. My grounding has been my faith. I lost it when the eating disorder took a hold of me, and as it gets stronger, the struggle with the disorder sometimes becomes more difficult as well.
Last night I was doing my bible study and I realized how calm and unaffected I was by the eating disorder. I had a terrible stomach ache (from lunch), prayed for relief because dinner was coming and low-and-behold, I had a growling belly.
That was it. I wasn’t afraid of dinner. I was ready for it. I wanted it and I needed it.
In that moment I realized a few things:
1. I have a way out of the eating disorder struggle when I need it.
2. I do not have to live with this disorder forever – I can overcome this.
3. I have to CHOOSE to give up the disorder.
It’s hard to find something that keeps you grounded all the time, but when you find it, it’s something you have to hold on to.
As I realized where I could go with my faith, and that I could give up the disorder it was slightly frightening. I’m not going to lie – knowing that you MUST give up something (that has been with you for so long) is scary. It is so common in your life, and it’s easy –it’s always been there.
This is going to be blunt, and people may not appreciate it, and some will disagree. Here is what I’ve figured out:
If you want to recover from the disorder, you can do it. Plain and simple. Many will say they can’t and that it is too hard – that’s a lie. It’s hard… I’m not going to say it’s not hard –it’s also ugly, painful, exhausting and trying – but it’s not impossible.
Here comes the blunt: When people do not recover, it’s because they choose not to. They choose to cling to the eating disorder and refuse to give it up. The way my therapist describes it with me – I snuggle up to ED, giving hugs and kisses etc…. It’s a gross thing to think about. I’ll illustrate it below:
Gross, right? But it’s true. When things feel hard, I have a choice to go straight to ED or fight it. I won’t lie… the eating disorder thoughts come first and it’s so easy to play into them and solve problems with them (actually, be distracted with them).
Is that what I really want in life?
If you want to recover from the disorder, you can do it. Once we start down the road of recovery, it’s a choice. Sometimes there is a stronghold on us, and it is difficult… very difficult…. but it’s NOT IMPOSSIBLE. I have a feeling I will eat my words later (pun intended), but it’s the truth. When I go back to ED, I know I am doing the wrong thing, but it’s the easy thing.
Some people will be offended by this, but deep down, you all know it’s true. You may be convinced that you can’t overcome the disorder, but you also know that you are not fighting as hard as you can.