Two years into treatment, and I am forty-nine days without behaviors.
To some that would seem ridiculous. Two years — that’s a long time.
You know what else is a long time?
Tomorrow will be fifty days which is even longer. And right now, I am basking in my behavior free days. I’m finally enjoying being on the path to recovery.
Has it been easy? No.
It’s been hard as hell. But I did it. I AM doing it.
Answering the hard questions in recovery
The therapist posed a question to the group tonight. “Who here struggles with wanting to be in recovery AND wanting to be in their eating disorder?”
I saw some head nods. Some blank stares. And some denials. But my head was nodding vigorously.
Emphatic yes. Hell yes! I struggle with it. Every day. At every meal. And at very snack.
Sometimes every moment of the day. I am constantly having to choose between my eating disorder or recovery.
Today I choose recovery
Today I have body dysmorphia. Some moments it’s the worst it has ever been. I want to restrict like crazy — anything to provide relief.
But today I choose recovery.
Today I went to group when I wanted to stay home and watch Scandal.
Instead, I chose recovery.
I choose not to give in. To eat lunch when every part of my being screams to return to my eating disorder. But I chose and continue to choose recovery.
Don’t be mistaken
I didn’t CHOOSE to have an eating disorder. My eating disorder chose me. And I was powerless to stop it.
For so many days. So many years spent in the depths of addiction. Trapped by the thoughts. Paralyzed by the fear. Consumed with behaviors.
I did not choose that.
Then I found Fairhaven. And I have a choice now. So, today, I choose recovery.
Day by day in recovery
Today is a day with music, my dog, and beautiful weather. Yesterday was a day with tears and aloneness and urges to be in behaviors. Who knows what tomorrow will bring? I don’t know. But I am willing to take it on.
When I entered treatment, I never thought I would still be here two years later. Every meal I have eaten has been based on a meal plan. And every trip I have taken has been planned by my therapist and dietitian and treatment team.
I have spent every holiday for the past two years in treatment. My last two birthdays have been spent with friends I met in treatment. I have spent days from sun up to sun down in groups.
And I am so glad I did. Because it has saved my life.
So tonight, when we gave voices to the eating disorder and to recovery, I heard the recovery voice loud and clear. I heard it over my own voice and thoughts in my head. The recovery voice was even over my own eating disorder.
I heard recovery. This is what it said:
I can give you confidence and happiness and joy. With me, you can connect with others again. I am nourishing. With me you can experience freedom. I am possible. And you are worth it.