What Being 49 Days Into Recovery REALLY Looks Like

recovery - image of female gazing out widow with hand on chin

Today I am forty-nine days free of behaviors. Forty-nine days without restriction, binging and purging, self harm, or stepping onto a scale. 49 days into recovery.

Two years into treatment, and I am forty-nine days without behaviors.

Ridiculous?

To some that would seem ridiculous. Two years — that’s a long time.
You know what else is a long time?

Forty-nine days.

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

Recovery often has this shiny, pot of gold at the end of the addiction rainbow connotation to it. But recovery is messy. It’s filled with backslides and triumphs and relapses and celebrations.

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.

Tonight…

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.

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