I knew what was happening… rationally. I saw it happening – almost as if I were outside my body watching. Externally, I saw the decisions I was making, and it was almost as if I could see ahead of myself, and the consequences that would come with them. But it just felt right. That’s what the eating disorder does. It feels right. It gives you the feeling that it’s exactly what you need. And you believe it. You need something to believe in… even for just a moment.
Rationally, I knew the choices I was making could lead me down a destructive path, yet again. But it felt like the only path available because I felt so alone and without support. There it was again – it felt like all I had. The eating disorder feels like it’s there for you when you feel like there is nobody else to turn to – it lifts you up when you’ve fallen flat on your face. I felt like all other doors had slammed in my face – including God… and it feels like it’s [the eating disorder] there to pick up the pieces in such a sweet and convincing manner – to give strength, endurance, to take away the pain and hurt and to make you feel whole when you feel broken. ED gives a sweet whisper of how everything will be okay because all of those other things no longer matter because you’re going to skip this meal, or do X Y and Z.
Sure, I could give excuses. I could give many reasons as to why things happened the way they did, but really, it was just a perfect storm of things that I must not have been ready to handle. Really – it was a series of unfortunate events back-to-back.
So, here I stand, at the bottom of a slide down the mountain (and maybe off a cliff) trying to dust myself off and prepare for the climb back up. I’ve been here before, so I know it’s possible, but I also know the amount of work that is involved in the climb. It’s long, hard and exhausting – worth it – but also very tiring. This time the climb should be faster and hopefully easier because I’ve learned that I’m a very resilient person. I know what it takes, what to do, and what went wrong. Does it make it less painful? No. I have found that when I fully believe in myself more than I believe in the eating disorder to save me, I will stop using it as if it were my only chance at not falling apart. I just have to remember that the next time around.
Mistakes happen. We all make them. I’ve learned not to look back and to look straight ahead. I’ve learned to use all my knowledge, skills, experiences and life lessons learned from mistakes, defeats and setbacks to start over again. Life changes – that is a constant. I may not have the same life as time goes on, but I can still enjoy it.
So as I pick myself up and try to figure out the next step, I will stick to the fact that recovery is my only option because the torment of the eating disorder is just too much to live with. I’ve felt how wonderful it is to live without eating disorder thoughts and it’s glorious. I’m confident I can get that back with some hard work and trust in the process.
Truthfully, with this eating disorder, I’m thankful for my struggle because without it, I wouldn’t have found my true strength.