I was out walking the dog this evening and listening to the most fabulous Brandi Carlile and a line from the song Silver Cloud really hit me.
I know how this ends and I don’t want to play.
See the past couple months have been hard. I am definitely not in relapse but I have also not been firmly in recovery mode. Its been like this. A couple days of restricting my intake, followed by the realization that I need to get my shit together, followed by complete shock at how loud the ED rage is when I go back to my normal intake, followed by a couple of days of emotional turmoil as I eat normally despite ED voices, followed by a couple of days of restricting when I can’t take the ED’s abuse any longer. And so on and so forth.
And let me tell you nothing makes me feel crazier than hearing all the typical ED siren song in my head despite everything I know about eating disorders and recovery. How is it at all possible that I can still believe my eating disorder when it tells me that I can “just lose X lbs and it won’t get out of control this time” or even that “it was never really that bad”? With everything I have learned about this disease how can it still seduce me so easily?
In the early months of recovery I spent a lot of time sitting alone and reading my journals from when I was really sick or just forcing myself to think in great detail about how things were. That might seem unhelpful or even downright counterproductive but for me it was a powerful motivator. It is easy for me to let myself forget what it was really like because it is really fucking painful to think about how bad it was. But when I let myself forget, let myself look at it through ED’s rose colored glasses, I lose sight of why I have to fight so hard for recovery. The ED’s arguments that “it wasn’t really that bad” or even worse “that you were skinny and pretty and everything was great” (yes ED does still try to tell me that) start to sound pretty damn convincing and I start thinking that maybe I can restrict just a little, lose just a little weight.
But you know what ED? I know how that ends. It ends with chest pains, and being cold all the time, and everything going black every I stand up. It ends with eating nothing and exercising for hours and binging and purging all night. It ends with diet pills and laxatives and cutting and overdoses and psych wards. It ends with losing my boyfriend (again) and my puppy (again) and dropping out of school (again). And maybe this time it ends in death.
Maybe it sounds alarmist but I have to think of it in these terms: restricting even a little bit, losing even a tiny amount of weight is opening the door straight to hell.
Its hard. I’m not going to lie. Clawing my way back from even this fairly minor lapse is really really hard. It will most likely take months to get back to where I was before this started. But my life, this life I have reclaimed from my illness and made into something wonderful, it is worth fighting for. I am worth fighting for.