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.