Posted in Recovery

So, I Ate Ice Cream. Yay, I guess?

I got ice cream with some friends on Tuesday night.

2 scoops.

Birthday cake ice cream.

With a waffle cone.

And I ate all of it.

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The amount of shame I feel by typing those words is…well, it’s disordered.

I should feel proud. Ice cream is one of my biggest fear foods. Before treatment, I can’t remember a time that I ate ice cream and didn’t use behaviors. I hadn’t eaten ice cream behavior free in probably around 10 years.

But yesterday I did. For the first time in god knows how long, I ate ice cream without using behaviors. Actually, let me rephrase that: for the first time I willingly ate ice cream without using behaviors even though I had many opportunities to.

And that’s it. None of my friends judged me for eating it. None of them gasped at how much I got or that I got a waffle cone or that I was way too fat to be eating it. We just ate it and we laughed and had a good time and I got a glimmer of what it’s like to be a “normal” eater.

I remember when we got ice cream as a challenge snack in treatment. It was the first time I had eaten ice cream in a long time and I knew that I wouldn’t be able to use behaviors afterwards so I was freaking out. I remember sitting on a bench with some friends, fighting with everything I had to keep raising the spoon to my mouth and taking bites. I was super detached from everything and wasn’t paying attention to anyone around me except for a girl sitting at a table across from me.

She was around my age, probably a few years younger, still in high school and sitting with a guy just eating her ice cream. I assumed that the guy was her boyfriend and was a) amazed that she was able to eat ice cream with him at all. I remember not being comfortable eating anything but salads or safe foods with my boyfriend. I could never have imagined letting him see me eat ice cream and b) that she was enjoying herself. It was one of the first warm days in Denver that spring, so we were all sitting outside and they were sitting there laughing and joking around and just having fun in the present moment with each other. The ice cream was an after-thought. It wasn’t their main focus. As she sat there, mindlessly eating, I was amazed. It was one of my first realizations of what eating without ED must be like. They probably decided that since it was such a nice day they would get some ice cream, and so they did.

They didn’t plan in advance or have to convince themselves that it fit into their food plan for the day, or figure out compensations. They just went to Bonnie Brae, got some ice cream and ate it and then left and went on with their day. They can probably look back and smile at that memory. Just enjoying each other’s presence on a beautiful day, whereas I knew if I was her I would look back and see the ice cream. That’s it. I would remember what flavor it was and how much I got and how many calories were in it and everything else that followed would be about the ice cream. Sure, I would remember laughing and pretending to have a good time but all of that would be an afterthought, but here was this girl, eating ice cream and living her life. Obviously, I don’t know her but in that moment, she inspired me. She made me realize that people my age did that sort of thing. It can be a mundane, but enjoyable, part of life.

I haven’t forgotten that girl, which makes me feel like a creep, honestly. But once I was finished on Tuesday, I was super uncomfortable but I realized that I had done it. I had let the ice cream be an afterthought. Yeah, I still focused on it more than I wanted to but once I was done, I tried really hard to focus on being in the present moment and then the next morning I remembered that girl and I was able to smile a little. I was able to see pieces of her in myself the night before. I laughed and had fun and ate some (really good) ice cream with my friends like a college student should.

For the first time, I can look back at me eating ice cream and remember the other stuff too. I can look back and remember how good it was instead of figuring out the calories. I can remember the jokes and the stories shared instead of trying to figure out what I thought everyone else was thinking about me.

So yeah, I ate ice cream the other day, and it was pretty damn good.

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Here’s to more tiny triumphs and more nights like that.

Melissa

Posted in Recovery

Stop This Train

*Trigger Warning* This post has some details that could be triggering. If you are easily triggered, please stop here. There is nothing I say in here that is more important to me than your recovery.

I debated for a while over whether or not I wanted to post this. It’s a little more graphic than I typically like to be but recovery is not all sunshine and rainbows, and that’s what I’m trying to remember. Sometimes it’s a shitty process, but it’s my process so acceptance is a part of that. I know my posts recently have been some downers, but this is where I am authentically. Hopefully I’ll have some happier posts soon. 🙂

So this past week has been my hardest one since I’ve gotten home from treatment, by far. Because I’m such a perfectionist, since coming home I haven’t really struggled with behaviors, because gosh darn it, if I couldn’t be perfect at the eating disorder thing then I was going to be perfect with recovery. (Thanks, ED.) So my thoughts have been my main problems. I know that slip ups are okay, and expected.

I’m sure everyone has heard that recovery is not a straight line upwards, it’s full of loops and slips and twists, but what matters is that you are still moving up. Yes, you can slip back, but you’re still further than you had been. Surprisingly, I’ve been able to accept that. Of course I’ve had slips and struggles with behaviors but I’ve been proud (even though I hate saying that about myself) that after I slipped I was able to move on and get back on track, which makes my current situation even more frustrating and annoying.

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I went home this past weekend for Father’s Day. I love my family, they’re great but I don’t really enjoy going home. Until I came to college, I had never moved so there is so much, just, “stuff” attached with my house, more good than bad luckily, but now that I’m in recovery all I can feel are the disordered things The corner in my room where I would work out endlessly or where I would secretly purge because I couldn’t go to the bathroom and it was the furthest one away from my parents room. The drawer in my dresser where I kept all of ED journals to hold my counts and weights and measurements. The back corner of my closet where I still have some clothes that I’m “saving for when I get skinnier.” Just the fact that so much of my eating disorder developed and progressed and lived in that room, and it was all a secret. That’s the hardest part right now is that even though my family knows about my eating disorder, it’s hard to explain to them how much I associate my ED with home because I kept it a secret for so long that I don’t really know how to bring it up and explain it, and I don’t really know if I want to bring it up and have to explain it, at least not right now. Going home is just a lot and it’s where I’ve found that my urges and thoughts are definitely the highest. I find myself wanting to go back to how things were before my family knew so that I can be more comfortable.

The few times I’ve gone home before, they were all surprisingly nice. ED was loud, but I was more open and my family was receptive and we didn’t really spend a lot of time actually at home, but this time was not as successful. I don’t know if I got over-confident or if I just didn’t care but this weekend was rough. I did the best I could, and probably did a lot better than I’m giving myself credit for, but I fell right back into my complacent, people pleasing role, and whenever this happens I restrict, which then results in me eating something completely against ED’s rules and then heightens the cycle of self-hatred. I knew if I kept focusing on that I would be done. I’m really tired, my meds are all out of whack so I’ve been a lot more anxious and more depressed than normal and my motivation for recovery is pretty low. So against every fiber in my being I texted one of my best friends and told her what had happened. I told her I didn’t want to talk about it, I just wanted to try and remove the shame from it by not keeping it a secret. And it helped a little bit I guess, but ED was far too happy to actually have this “huge slip up” to focus on so I still focused on it the rest of the night.

Typically, I have a shitty day, I go to sleep, and I wake up to a brand new day that isn’t influenced by whatever happened the day before. Not the case this morning. I’m still focusing on the weekend. I’m still trying to figure out how to compensate for what happened. Convinced that I had gained at least 10 pounds over the weekend I’ve been weighing myself consistently. Turns out, I didn’t gain any weight, but I still messed up so I still have to compensate. My summer class began this morning, so I “didn’t have time” to make a complete breakfast. I decided to go on a walk after class. My “mindful” 30-minute walk turned into one in which I intentionally got really lost so it would take me a long time to get back to my apartment. My stomach growling didn’t alarm me like it usually does now a days. I didn’t think, “Oh crap, I should probably eat”, but instead my mind went back to the feeling of strength that it gives me: the feeling of knowing what it’s like to function on an empty stomach. All of these behaviors that motivated ED before treatment are slowly coming back. I’m still following my meal plan and I’m not purging and things, but I can see myself starting to slide down the slippery slope that probably leads to a relapse, and if I’m being honest, I don’t know how quickly I want to stop myself.

I want to recover. I know that my authentic self believes this and I believe that one day I will get there, but right now, I don’t really care when that day comes. If it’s decades away, so be it. It’s coming though. It is somewhere down my path in life but it’s not now. Oh well. I think the point I’m at right now is that I’ve been doing so well in recovery since coming home that I deserve this. I deserve to slip up and not care. I’ve worked really hard and I’ve earned it. Totally and completely disordered, I know. But honestly, I feel a little…excited. I feel like I’m rebelling, like life has been so monotonous that doing something even just a little different is making me feel alive again.

Even as I’m typing this there’s a battle going on in my head. One side, my authentic side, is telling me what a bad idea this is and how slippery the slope is and how I’ve worked so hard and that I deserve to recover and all of those things and then my disordered side is just like, come on in and take a break. You can chill here for a little bit, relax, and then go back out and fight the good fight and after some long, long months, I feel like I couldn’t resist any longer. It looked so comforting and inviting that I needed to sit down. I had earned the right to sit down.

So that’s where I am. Stuck in this awkward place between, knowing that this is not good for me or my recovery, not really caring about how it could affect me in the long run, and then watching the fight between the two not having any idea who is going to win the next round.

I’ve been singing John Mayer’s “Stop this Train” in my head the whole time I’ve been writing this. I just want to stop and go back. Back to when I was excited and hopeful about recovery (which was like 2 weeks ago which is pitiful). So my hope is to wake up and get back on the recovery track. Actually no, this isn’t just my hope. It’s going to happen. Deep deep down inside I can feel a tiny sliver of myself saying, “No, this is not how you’re story will end.” So I’m going to try and listen to that tiny voice in the sea of disordered thoughts that consumes my head right now.

Remember that you deserve this. You do.

Melissa

On a more positive note, I just remembered this, I got hired at Target last Friday so that’s a fun thing! A fun but also potentially dangerous thing as I tend to spend way too much money at Target…my paychecks may be going right back into Target’s pockets. Let’s hope not. 😂

 

Posted in Recovery

I’m Tired Y’all.

Sorry for all of the Grey’s Anatomy title pics (not really)… I love Grey’s y’all. I’m (not so) patiently counting down the days until the new season, so I need to get my excitement out in some way. 😉

I was talking to my therapist one day about how angry I was that I had gotten to this point of finally having had enough of ED’s crap to be angry about it but then also really missing it too. ED is not out of my life in any means. He has less control and I can see through his crap but he’s still here, and will be for a long time most likely, so he loves to remind me what I’m missing out on. He loves to remind me how much “easier” and “simpler” life was before recovery. I had prepared myself for how hard recovery was going to be but I had no idea it would be this exhausting.

Planning and cooking and eating 3 meals (and 2 snacks) a day is ROUGH. I never realized how much it can take out of you. I’ve been trying to make it as easy on myself as possible and it still takes about everything in me to follow my meal plan completely every day. Every Sunday, I plan my meals for the week. A lot of them are incredibly simple, both to make and to match to fit into my meal plan, and then my dietician at EDCD gave me a ton of recipes and all of the exchanges so that I didn’t have to figure them out myself. So every week, I write down every meal and what meets what I need and then I hang it on my fridge. (See below.) J  I do all of the hard work before I even have to think about cooking and eating whatever I planned and it still takes everything in me to get myself to go to the kitchen and actually make my meals. I just want the food. I just want to be able to sit down and eat my food (which is something I did not think I would ever say seriously.)

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My weekly meal plan that hangs in my kitchen. The right side is all of my required exchanges and the left is what meets them. (Not too difficult to figure out, I know. lol )

 

I’m starting to realize that probably a big part of what makes it exhausting is that ED manages to find excuses through the entire process, surprise surprise. When it’s time for me to go cook, he tries to convince me that I don’t need it or that I’m too tired and missing one meal won’t be a big deal. When I’m cooking, he tries to convince me that I don’t need all of my starches or my fats or whatever and that eliminating them will be perfectly fine. Then, when I’m finally ready to eat, the thing that I’ve just wanted to do all along, he tries to convince me that making dinner was enough. That was the hard part and I don’t really need to eat it, it will be fine. That somehow maybe I got the nutrients I needed from just smelling the food or just being around it and handling it or some other bullshit reason that ED loves to create…and then I have to do that process 2 more times that day. (Well, just one. Shout out to EDCD for making us make our own breakfasts in treatment, I hated it there but it’s been such a lifesaver since coming home.) Still, it’s a lot.

And I know that it gets better. I know that I’m still transitioning and that this is one of the toughest parts of recovery and all of that, but honestly, that doesn’t help in the moment. ED doesn’t care that I’m still transitioning or that my team expects me to struggle like I am, because according to him I shouldn’t need to struggle. I’ve been home for 4 weeks and that is plenty of time to get adjusted, so by now I should be an expert. (I was telling my best friend about how ironic it is that ED is such a perfectionist that it’s being so perfectionistic towards the thing I’m doing to get rid of it. Oh ED and your irrationality.) So yeah, I know that it’s okay to struggle and to slip up and all of that, and I’m able to realize that later but in the moment it is so tough, and it’s getting harder and harder to fight back when ED is screaming at me through the whole ordeal, which makes me super nervous.

I know that I need to try and stay positive and use my coping skills and all of that, which I’m trying, but this crap sucks. Every move and decision I make is such a battle in my mind. I do what I’m supposed to do because I want to recover and I know that those things are what’s best for me, but my disordered thoughts are through the roof, like as bad as they were when I first got to treatment, the only difference now is that I know how to fight back to them, which just makes them fight back harder. Recovery is worth it in the end, I know that and I keep reminding myself that but it sucks. A lot. I am so exhausted and conflicted at meal times that by the time I finish, I feel like I need a nap, which, surprisingly, does not fit into my schedule. (eye-roll emoji)

So yeah, that’s where I’m at right now. It’s not the most positive or uplifting but it’s coming from authentic Melissa, which is one of my biggest reasons for recovering: to finally discover and be my true self.

So am I loving this whole recovery thing right now? Definitely not. Am I going to keep doing it? (A little begrudgingly) yes. Will it be worth it in the end? Absolutely, and I cannot wait for the day that I can look back at this whole process and be proud of how much work I did to finally get the life my authentic self deserved, even if that day is just a tiny wish in the back of my mind right now, I know it’s still there.

 

Remember: you can do this, no matter how much your eating disorder tells you that you can’t. The power to recover is already within you.

Posted in Recovery

I (Finally) Hate ED (Pt. 2)

Here’s part 2 of my (adventure?) of being angry at my eating disorder. This is where I really thought about what ED made me miss out on, especially here at school.  I think this post is one of the best representations of where I’m at right now: a little disorganized and confused and just really angry. This was a lot harder to write and I had to admit a lot of things to myself that I didn’t want to, so of course I just wanted to stop writing, which made me realize that I needed to keep writing, so that’s what I did. 🙂

I didn’t think that I had missed out on that much before I left for treatment. I really thought that I was able to pretty much be myself with my friends and family and yeah, I was “weird” around food but no one could really tell and I still went out with my friends so my life really was okay. Yes, I knew I had a problem; I knew what I was doing was unhealthy, all of that stuff, but I felt proud of myself that I was still allowing myself to “experience” life. Since coming back I’ve seen how wrong I was and it makes me so mad. I’ve been able to think about how much I missed out on because I was too busy slaving over school work to get perfect grades, or because I hated how I looked that day so there was no way I could allow myself to go out or because there would be food involved and I had broken too many of ED’s rules that there was no way I could allow myself to go out and not gain a million pounds, or work out for hours or whatever. Those were all incredibly valid reasons in my mind, in fact, they still make sense to me. I don’t consider them valid but I can definitely relate to my reasoning behind them, and because I was so good at faking things I thought that missing  a few social events was fine, which it is, but looking back it was more than a few and I felt guilty the whole time I was alone anyways. Subconsciously, I knew it was a worse punishment for me to miss things and feel like I let people down than it was to go out and break whatever “rule” I was afraid of breaking. So I stayed, felt miserable and continued trying to reach ED’s unattainable standards.

I used to think that “missing out on things” only counted if you physically weren’t there; even in treatment I believed that. A majority of the time, I did hang out with my friends, and I probably had a super enjoyable time every time because my friends are awesome, so because I had fun and made memories and whatever, I wasn’t missing out. I was still living my life and ED and I could coexist perfectly. Coming back has shown me how wrong that was and that’s what infuriates me the most. Sure, I was physically there hanging out, but I was so far off someplace in my mind that I couldn’t remember anything that was said or what we did. I was so busy counting calories, and worrying about how I looked to everyone else, and what I had eaten that day and what I was going to eat tomorrow to make up for what I had eaten today, and how much schoolwork I had to perfect so that no one would realize what a fraud I was and so many other things that I might as well have been at home by myself.

I rarely experienced what “being in the moment” was like until a few months ago. I could probably count on two hands the number of times in my entire life that I remember being genuinely in the moment. That’s it. Out of 20 years of life, I can count less than ten, and a lot of them occurred before my eating disorder, so before middle school. That makes me sad. I hate feeling sad for myself, but that makes me really sad. That’s when I realized how much I’ve lost out on. I have so many great memories. I’ve been blessed with a great family, great friends, and some super awesome opportunities, and I’m aware of them. When I look back at my life, I feel so incredibly grateful for all of the memories I’ve been able to make, but it makes me wonder how much greater they could have been.

Now I know. I know what the other side is like and I love it and I’m so angry that it took me this long to get to experience it. I can’t help but imagine how much richer and joyful my experiences could have been. What would prom have been like if I wasn’t so focused on the fact that we had pizza for dinner beforehand? If I had actually let myself enjoy dancing and taking pictures and getting crowned prom queen instead of counting calories in my head over and over and over again or constantly running to the bathroom to make sure that I looked “acceptable” because there was no way I could look any better than that. What would slumber parties and being fourteen have been like if I knew that my friends weren’t judging my body? If I had let myself be a part of the silly fashion shows and selfie photoshoot sessions? If I had let myself enjoy the candid photos that no one really looks great in but that really capture the moment? If I hadn’t compared myself to pretty much every single girl I knew? How different could my life have been without this stupid voice in my head?

It would be really easy for me to get caught up in the “What ifs”, so I just pretended they didn’t exist, but what I didn’t know is that it’s okay to think about yourself sometimes. It’s okay for me to be angry and sad and upset. It’s perfectly okay for me to feel and express emotions that are uncomfortable. Everyone feels them. Every single person I know which means that I can feel them too. A revelation that I am just recently coming to, like today recently. So yeah, once I realized it was okay for me to feel angry, I’ve allowed myself to realize how much ED had taken from me and it’s infuriating.

I don’t really know what comes next. I’m angry and frustrated and I can admit that but I still don’t necessarily like it. It’s very different for me and I can already feel myself wanting to ignore it and minimize things, but I know where that gets me so I’m trying to do something different. So yeah, anger is a thing. Screaming in my car for 20 minutes and punching my steering wheel is a thing…and it’s okay. It’s okay for me to be angry for a while, and I’m not going to fall apart because of it.

Do I necessarily like where I’m at? No. Is it awkward and uncomfortable? Incredibly. But one thing I’ve learned to embrace is that sometimes you just have to swim in the awkwardness and accept it. So I’m accepting that I’m in an incredibly awkward time in my recovery, but that’s where I am so I’m going to be okay with it.

I’m going to keep allowing myself to be angry at ED, because he sucks. A lot. And now that I know how much he’s taken, I can’t wait to get him out of my life and make some new awesome memories that he doesn’t get to be a part of.

Peace out Ed. You’re not welcome here anymore.

Posted in Recovery

I (Finally) Hate ED (Pt. 1)

I had sort of a long-awaited break-through in my therapy session today. I finally let myself be truly angry at my eating disorder, as opposed to the “sort of” anger I felt towards it before, which is very weird for me but also a big step in my recovery so I wrote about it. There were a lot of things that came out as a result so I decided to break this into 2 parts to not make the post miserably wrong and to help with fluidity and such.

I’m angry. Like for the first time in a long time, possibly even ever, I’m actually infuriated. I. Hate. ED. So much. And for the first time I was able to allow myself to feel that. All throughout treatment I would say things like, “Ugh I hate this,” or “my eating disorder just makes me so angry” and my therapist would respond with something like, “Really, because it doesn’t seem like it.” I said that I hated it but I still let it have so much control over me, which resulted in this huge internal battle and lots of confliction. Eventually, I realized that yeah, I hated it. I obviously was over it enough to the degree that I agreed to go to treatment, stay in treatment, and keep fighting no matter how miserable and exhausted I felt. I hated it to the amount that I agreed to go against everything it had taught me and made me believe even though it was screaming at me with every decision I made…Well, I didn’t agree to go against everything it said which is where my problem was.

Yeah, I had finally started to realize that ED wasn’t my friend, that I was sick and other things that I refused to believe before treatment, but it still did something for me. Using behaviors and “having an eating disorder” and “being sick” gave me things. Whether that was some kind of  validation I was searching for or filling whatever hole I thought would be there without it, or a long list of other potential reasons, whatever it was, I still felt that I couldn’t live without it. This was a huge piece of work that I did in treatment. I spent countless hours talking with my primary therapist, my psychiatrist, with milieu therapists, and house therapists, there were pretty much therapists wherever you turned in treatment, which was very nice but also meant you couldn’t get away with anything…which was also good the patients just didn’t appreciate that one nearly as much. I journaled and tried using all of the nifty positive coping skills I had picked up to figure out what exactly ED did for me and why I was so terrified to let it go. I had to get really honest with myself about how I felt about my life, other people, perceptions of me, and lots of very uncomfortable topics, and it sucked.

So I went through all of this and was disappointed to admit to myself that ED was still doing something for me, even after I had done all of this raw, painful, revealing work. I realized how much it had taken from me, had learned that the ways I thought it was serving me were false, had realized that it gave me literally nothing that it had promised me, and I still didn’t want to give it up completely. A realization that went against every logical cell in my being, which, if you know me, you can imagine how well I handled that. How could I still believe that this thing, that I was finally able to admit was completely illogical, still able to have this much power over me? More importantly, why was I giving it the power? …and then I realized that that’s how addictions work. Eating disorders aren’t technically addictions, they’re classified as emotional disorders, but the similarities between the two are striking. Similar brain processes, similar chemical imbalances, similar thoughts and behaviors, and the two can often be co-occurring. So even though I’m someone who has never struggled with an addiction, I feel that I can relate to those that do. How the whole idea really makes no sense to everyone else, but to you it makes complete sense. In fact, to me it made so much sense that I couldn’t understand how everyone else couldn’t get it. I couldn’t wrap my mind around the fact that people ate 3 meals a day and snacks and didn’t hate themselves as a result or feel the need to compensate in some way or not obssess over it all day. How people weren’t constantly planning meals and counting calories and not thinking about food all day every day. How for other people, food was pretty much a one-and-done thing. They ate and then they moved on with their days and that was it; it made asbolutely no sense to me.

I went through a period of time before I agreed (finally) agreed to go to EDCD, that I seriously had convinced myself everyone had some kind of an eating disorder. Everyone. My friends, my professors, my co-workers, all of them. There was no way that what I was doing was so out of the ordinary and so uncommon that I was really endangering myself. [I now know that the fancy therapy term for this is rationalizing, and boy am I good at it.] Body image and being healthy and looking a certain way are so prevalent in our society that there was no way that only I had a “problem”. Which is true, everyone can probably admit that the focus on looks in our society is getting out of hand and the societal ideals that dictate what we as a culture view as acceptable and beautiful are basically unattainable without using unhealthy eating/weight loss behaviors/ exercise patterns/etc. But that didn’t exempt me. It didn’t justify what I was doing and it didn’t make it “okay”. All of it was just my eating disorder tricking me into believing whatever it told me so that it could continue to have complete control of my life, and it definitely accomplished its goal.

So back to being angry: during my last few weeks in Denver, I realized that my eating disorder was still serving me in some way and that I wasn’t at a point where I was ready to give it up completely. I felt like a failure or a fraud that I was coming home from treatment still using behaviors, but it was what it was and I had to accept it so I could continue my recovery journey. Since coming home and starting to adjust to my “normal” life, I’ve been able to see how much ED took from me. I’ve been able to see how much he controlled what I did or how I acted or what I said and pretty much every aspect of my life, and it hasn’t been fun.

Honestly, I didn’t want to come home. I loved it in Denver. I had great friends and so much support and I felt that it was just such a good place for me that I was afraid that Indiana wouldn’t compare. No one at home really “got it.” I was going from being constantly surrounded by people that could relate to what I was thinking or feeling without really having to explain anything to an environment where the only person who I felt really understood me and what I was going through was my therapist. (Which was true, but it turns out people can understand things pretty well, you just have to actually reach out for help and explain things to them and stop expecting them to read your mind. Who would’ve thought?) I was afraid that I would get back and lose this new person that I had become, this new person who I was actually really starting to like. So I pushed it off as long as I could and then begrudgingly booked my plane ticket back when I had to. Don’t get me wrong, I was so excited to see everyone. My best friends surprised me at the airport when I got back and it was one of the happiest moments of my life. I missed my family and my friends and Bloomington so much, but I was also afraid that I would lose all of the work I had done. I was afraid that my life at home wouldn’t match what was needed for recovery, and I didn’t think I was interested in making the changes necessary to make the two go together, especially once classes started. I just couldn’t envision being recovered in my old life. I couldn’t imagine classes and socializing and everything without my eating disorder, so if I never went back I never had to face it. I was trying to make recovery fit my life back home when what I needed to be doing was make my life back home fit recovery. I had to make recovery my number one priority.

I knew I could do recovery in Denver so I would just stay where I feel safe and pretend that my life back home doesn’t exist anymore.Turns out it’s not nearly as bad as I had convinced myself it would be,which tends to be the case for like 99.9% of the situations that I catastrophize. I knew it would be hard and different and that I would feel awkward, so when I got back and it was like that I was ready for it.

I’ve been doing really well since I’ve gotten home, which is honestly a huge surprise to me. I still struggle and slip and with pretty much every decision I make there is a battle in my mind, but I’m doing it, and because of that I’ve been able to really start seeing what ED took from me, which is a lot more than I would like to admit.

Which, let me tell you, is a very hard pill to swallow.

 

Remember that you deserve this. You do.

Melissa