Recovery and recovered are two words of many that fall victim to being used interchangeably in today’s society. While this is an incredible dream, hope, and wish for all of my recovery warriors- there lies a great weight beneath a seemingly innocent misconception.
To declare someone still fighting as recovered, we find ourselves carrying a weight. The type where we are no longer allowed to struggle or – God forbid, relapse, because we would be the ultimate epitome of a failure.
This summer I have been incredibly blessed with the opportunity to intern at the church I attend. I add this because it is in this place I begun really yearning to know what the true side of recovery looked like. However, it is also in this place I began struggling with this “recovery” vs “recovered” battle.
I am learning that it is not only others who label us as recovered, but after a while, we may catch ourselves doing it too. Recently, my hypocritical ego came out when I began to fixate on a disordered thought.
Immediately, I assumed this automatically meant I was doomed. I spent time tearing myself apart because I would tell myself I “spent long enough in recovery” or “why was I not fixed yet?”
Difficult questions to place onto the shoulders of a young 21 year old woman who should also know that all good things take time.
I am slowly learning that recovery takes time, and there will be slips. However, there are four steps we can take in order to get back on the horse, and make recovery L.A.S.T!
During a slip/lapse, I am learning that it is critical for me to be honest with myself.
In example, I’ve been having to catch myself lately in disordered thinking. My mind has been fighting to make meal decisions from a place of restriction rather than eating intuitively.
When this happens, warriors, don’t try to ignore it or pretend it isn’t happening. Face the struggle head on. However, it can be hard to enter the battle against your eating disorder yourself. Which brings me to my next point…
This is critical, as there is so much power in pairs. Find someone you can be open and vulnerable with.
I really struggle with this one because for so long I felt that admitting my shortcomings made me weak. However, in my honesty I have been learning that people grow to respect me more for my openness rather than pretending to be perfect.
That is not something that only applies to me. It’s true for you, too.
Asking for help is a sign of strength. Honesty is an important part of the recovery process.
Find someone you trust and can talk to, whoever that might be for you.
Sometimes we need to take further action- also okay. If you need to schedule follow ups with your treatment team, do it! The fact you are seeking and yearning for freedom is incredible.
Seeking help speaks volumes- and finally…
This applies to everything. We must learn to trust in the entire process of recovery, from our bodies knowing how to digest, to trusting our treatment team.
We must learn to once again trust hunger and fullness cues. It’s about trusting even in those uncomfortable days when we do not want to love our bodies.
But through that hardship, we do our best to answer to the call to love our fearfully and wonderfully made bodies.
Trust lies in the hope that recovery is here to stay. That a lapse is but one slip, and that you are strong, capable and brave enough to do the next right thing.
You will. You can do it, warrior.