My journey has at times felt like a never-ending lifetime battle with my relationship to food and body.
In truth, I have struggled with an eating disorder in a lesser or greater capacity since I was 13 years old. So, that’s a duration of more than 20 years.
Living with long-term restricted eating patterns over developmental years has had detrimental affects on my physical health. Most significantly, I have osteoporosis and high cholesterol. Plus, I feel constantly tired and run-down. I know my body is functioning below par.
This is not ideal when you’re 36, but it’s all the more reason to give recovery 100% of my focus and commitment.
You would think armed with the above as motivation, and having the time off in which to concentrate on getting well it would be an easy process. Well, it’s easier said than done!
Easier said than done…
I recently quit my job, which seems like it would be positive for my recovery. Yet, having more time to focus on myself has been more challenging than I could have imagined.
Surprisingly, the anxiety I was felt while working full-time work hasn’t disappear, but has grown. Plus, I’ve been struggling with the idea of my own self-worth and being deserving of this time to heal.
I have had many desperate mornings where, without the rush of having to leave for work, I’ve obsessed over the next meal or how my old work clothes feel tight. At times, I’m incredibly frustrated with the slowness of feeling better.
Although I’ve seen increases in my weight, I don’t always understand why I don’t immediately feel more energetic. I wonder when will I see the return of my period and be healthy enough to try having a baby, and long for the day when I can look in the mirror and accept what I see.
Patience is a virtue
I’ve been working so, so hard at this recovery thing all day-every day lately. And how much progress have I really seen? My ED brain would like me to think none. That my efforts are all in vain and trying doesn’t even help.
But then, I remember my eating disorder has been a part of my life. Considering that, letting go of it will likely be a slow unraveling process.
I guess that’s why they say patience is a virtue.
Once I realized that, I noticed a slight glimmer on the horizon. The small wins have become more frequent, and I now have a bigger picture in mind.
There may be steps forward and steps back, but I am trying to stay present in the here and now and focus on developing patience in recovery.
One day at a time
As cliche as it seems, remember the emphasis has to be on small steps. Taking each day as it comes, and focus on what you can do, not on what you can’t.
Appreciate life as it is not how you think it should be.
And warriors, remind yourself you are worth taking the time you need to recover. Nothing could be more important.