I’d forgotten a lot of things about recovery. Like that it’s exhausting. Not just physically exhausting, but emotionally too. And terrifying.
Terrifying because of the fear of the unknown and the giving up of something that has served such a beautiful, yet awful purpose. I’d forgotten all of the difficult things about it, like that it absolutely breaks you into pieces to see your weight rise, to see your body repair itself after all the damage the eating disorder has caused over time. I’d forgotten the feeling of dread that sits in your gut every time you sit down for a meal and really feel no sign of hunger whatsoever and everything within your being is shouting at you not to pick up that ham and cheese and tomato toasted sandwich and bite into it, but you know you need to do it or else you’re going to end up having to gulp down a mug of Ensure. I’d forgotten about all of the comparing that your eating disorder imposes upon you as you seek to be well again. About the difficulty of urges that come alongside the feeling of fullness, about the difficulty of merely sitting with those urges instead of engaging in compensatory behaviours.
I remembered perhaps a handful of the difficulties that come with recovery, yes. But I never remembered the recovery process itself being this hard.
I’d also forgotten all of the beautiful things about recovery. Like that at first it is scary, but at some point it becomes kind of enjoyable. That you begin to take pleasure in the small things again, like the taste of soggy cereal and the appreciation of thighs that touch, like the smell of Indian food at dinner time and hot chocolates at supper time, even though they scare you. I’d forgotten that laughter was a good thing, that crying over eating chocolate cake twice in a day is acceptable, because for now it’s where you are at and where you’re at is okay because you’re learning to become you again.
I’d forgotten what it was like to not care. To not care about arms that are bigger or cheeks that are fuller – albeit brighter. I’d forgotten the beauty of just sitting and being and existing and for that being enough.
I’d forgotten that there was a much happier version of myself that existed before now and that I liked that person very much, even if she wasn’t perfect, and that is who I want to be again.
Lastly, I’d forgotten that I deserved better. Better than an eating disorder, better than the same food day in and day out, better that overexercise and exhaustion and sadness and isolation. I’d forgotten that I deserved to be nourished and well. I’d forgotten that I deserved recovery.
Don’t forget it. You deserve it too. You truly, truly do.