left: a year ago || right: now
a year ago when i was hospitalized for anorexia, i didn’t even know if i would make it to 2015. i didn’t know if i was strong enough or brave enough or worthy enough to beat the horrible disorder that consumed every part of me.
but now here i am, some 365 days later, alive. and not just alive… living.
i’m still recovering though. the process isn’t over and i know now that it won’t be for awhile. i’ve learned to be ok with that. for anyone else struggling with an eating disorder or who knows someone who is, here is what recovery looks like a year in, to me. i only hope some of what i’ve experienced or learned can help you on your journey.
1) this is the most important thing i’ve learned, by far. trust your body because it knows what it’s doing and what it needs. when i was discharged from the hospital, i didn’t exercise AT ALL for almost 9 months. all i did was sit around, relax and eat a ton of food. and guess what. my body maintained the healthy weight i’ve reached. your body knows where it is happy and it will do all it can to stay there. i know it’s scary and you think you’ll gain forever and you have to exercise to stop it but you don’t!!! if you read nothing else, at least trust me on this. your body knows what it’s doing. don’t fight it.
2) you will face triggers every single day. and i mean every. single. day. coworkers will talk about diets, you’ll see a weight watchers commercial, someone will loudly exclaim how sugar makes you fat. you can’t avoid it so you just have to learn to tune it out.
3) relapse happens and it’s okay. as long as you realize what’s happening and stop it before it goes too far. i’ve had more than my fair share of days where i let the eating disorder thoughts control me. the difference now is that i can recognize when i’m sliding into that hole and can reach out to my support group to help me back up.
4) above all, you’ll realize how incredible life is. it won’t be perfect… not even close. you’ll cry, yell, get in arguments, feel down about yourself sometimes, want to give up. but guess what? you’ll also laugh, love, smile, hug your family, make new friends, stay up until 3 in the morning dancing. all things you couldn’t do trapped in your eating disorder. that’s the best part of recovery. you actually get to feel again. you get to finally feel alive.