I think I am not alone in saying that getting better without gaining weight or changing what I was eating was something which I have desperately searched for. I wanted to find that place where I could have both the positives of the illness and the ability to experience the positives of everyday life.
I have learnt that place doesn’t exist. Sometimes I forget that I know that and go out searching for that place again, determined that it is possible; unwilling and unable to finally accept the devastating reality that it isn’t.
Those times of searching are getting shorter and further apart.
And here I am, having called off the search party, having settled on the reality that place doesn’t exist.
I have battled through the weight gain, I have allowed my body to maintain a healthy weight, I have eaten and I have started to live life. But what is recovery beyond those ESSENTIAL building blocks? Is it possible to describe recovery from Anorexia without mentioning what is necessary and essential but rather what makes the essential things possible?
It will be different for everyone but for me…..
Recovery goes so far beyond food and weight. It is the most complicated, muddled, messy and painful experience to express let alone to live. It is about changing the way I interact externally with the world around me and changing how I interact internally with myself. It is integrating compassion, compromise and imperfection into EVERY ASPECT of my life despite those things going against everything I’ve ever learnt about how to protect myself. It is living in a way that is gentle on myself when society has a sick admiration for those who ignore their bodies and minds. It is putting myself first. It is being utterly scared, directionless and lost. It is wanting to go back but having to trust that there is another way. It is uncertainty. It is vulnerability.
It is the hardest and best thing. It is letting go slowly and changing slowly until, for the first time, I get the positives of everyday life without needing to have an Eating Disorder in tow.
Recovery isn’t what I imagined,