Here and There

Maintaining recovery has been hard.

If only going through treatment were a simple solution to cure the complex illness that is an eating disorder; I would be cured many times over!

The treatment I have received undoubtedly changed my life. It undoubtedly saved my life. And, despite all of that treatment and the fighting I have done to escape the depths of eating disorder hell, I am not yet to the Promised Land. I find myself in what feels like a middle ground, or “partial recovery.” I am in recovery but there is surely distance between where I currently stand and the full recovery and quality of life I desire. It is hard for me to acknowledge that there are ways I still turn to my eating disorder, and denial will not propel me forward.

I have not fought so hard to settle for a middle ground partial recovery so-so quality life.

A predominant struggle I face right now is body image. Oh, lovely body image (insert crying streams of tears emoji here). Throughout treatment I gained significant distance from negative body image and ultimately self-hatred I experienced, and slowly that negative body image and self-hatred is striking back. I find myself focusing on wanting to change my body, as well as giving power to very unhelpful and outright mean thoughts I have about myself, which then perpetuates my desire to change my body.

In addition to the above-mentioned, I also find myself struggling to consistently meet my meal plan. I will miss things here and there, which my therapist does not hesitate to deem as restricting. It is both hard for me to hear and accept, but for me missing things “here and there” IS restricting. And missing things doesn’t end “here” or “there.” It is a sneaky little phrase where the context of here and there changes. It goes from meaning missing an exchange once in a while to missing multiple exchanges almost daily, which before I know it leads to a full-blown relapse.

Turning things around to get out of this partial recovery land will require a whole lot of intention and, as my therapist constantly reminds me, connection. Genuine, meaningful, heartwarming connection.

3 Comments

  1. So glad to hear you are still working on your recovery. I always love reading your posts. Is your OP therapist Morgan in his private practice or someone else?

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  2. I completely understand where you are. I remember last week when my nutritionist commented that it was the first week I was completely compliant. Compliance includes my meal prescription and exercise restriction. Either I would leave off on this or that with my food or I would do a bunch of pushups everytime I dropped something on the floor. It was so frustrating. I told him that it was like I was looking at myself from the outside. I knew what I needed to do and even wanted to do it but felt helpless as my actions did otherwise. I know that sounds odd but it’s the only way I can explain it.

    As with you, skipping or minimizing even one thing makes it ever so slightly easier to leave off something else, and so the progression goes.

    I had a different nutritionist after I got out of the ED program I did earlier this Spring. She kept adding more and more food which had me gaining more and more weight, which I didn’t need to, not after the program. The more food, the more weight, the less compliant. The less compliant, the more food….. I finally switched to the nutritionist I had in the program. His view is that, as long as my body composition tests show I am on the mend, he wants me in a body where I can stay compliant and move on in life. After I showed an effort he decreased my meal plan to a normal amount. The previous one had me eating 9 times a day! I ended up seeing my weight at the doctors and talked to him about it. He’s working with me which I will forever be grateful. Body image is such a huge thing and has to be a part of the recovery process. I’ve found so many professionals that put it off saying that it is the last thing. First is working on all this other emotional stuff. Well, how can we do that if we are stressing continually about food, weight, size, and so forth.

    Sometimes I find it so taxing, this process called recovery.

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