Image: @benwhitephotographyAt times ‘recovery’ can seem like an insurmountable task; so much so that you literally do not know where to begin. My mind gets so fuzzy that decisions become impossible. No matter which way you turn the doors feel like they are closed.
An eating disorder makes you feel like you are trapped in your own miserable box with no keys.
This is how the ED wants to make you feel. It wants you to feel helpless against it and further its mission for your self destruction. Despite professional help being available, loved ones offering full support and even a tiny part of yourself desperately wanting help, the ED can be so powerful. The eating disorder’s rules don’t want you to accept help.
So how do we get around this issue? How do we go from wanting help but feeling completely unable to accept it?
I am writing this while a hospital. It is my ED’s absolute worst nightmare.
I have spent the first 2 weeks of the admission process going through the hell of the ED tormenting me for letting this happen. However, I have now reached a turning point with a game changing realization…
Accepting the only option
After a great deal of tears, I am now working with the ward staff and my family to take one day at a time. It sounds so trivial and in years gone by I would have shrugged off such a suggestion. However it is helping A LOT.
Stress often arises when we grapple to get control of a situation which has been taken out of our hands. This causes a great deal of angst as anxiety levels rocket.
However, the anxiety and worry don’t change the situation or make it any better.
So we are left feeling deflated and even more powerless. Working on ACCEPTANCE has been such a useful way for me to see my way through each day.
I understand that right now I am not strong enough to fight the ED alone. This is why I am here in the hospital being given the ‘prescribed treatment’ (nutrition),in order for me to gain back the physical strength and mental resolve to be able to take back up the fight for myself again.
What I have found is if I get overly aggressive against the illness, the result is such a torrent of mental torture from the ED that I feel overwhelmed and unable to cope. In all honesty, the best thing for the time being literally is acceptance and nothing more. This allows the process of some weight restoration to happen and mental clarity to creep in but without the ED giving me grief. I am merely accepting treatment which has been enforced upon me and the fact that there is no other option.
Embrace the love
Until I am more robust in body and mind acceptance is all that is required. Through this experience I am really beginning to appreciate that recovery is about stages. Different supports and mindsets are required at different stages in the recovery journey.
For anyone experiencing a similar battle/dilemma or supporting a loved one in such circumstances please hold on to the hope that this is not forever. Those caring for us have our very best interests at heart. They are fighting the ED for us until we are strong enough to do so.
And most importantly it is NOT a failure to let people in.
Without allowing ourselves to embrace the love and support around us we run the risk of the eating disorder driving us to an early grave. It has no other end point.