Recovery isn’t a destination; it is a forever journey. Does this mean it never gets better or you can’t win the fight over your eating disorder? Absolutely not. The struggle against your eating disorder gets easier and you become stronger in recovery, but with an eating disorder there is never a closed chapter or a closed door. There is hope, hope that better days are ahead, with hope, the sky is the limit. We still need to remember we are living in reality, not a perfect world. Just like your life with your eating disorder never gets to be perfect, recovery isn’t perfect either.
I set out for recovery five years ago when my life had become unmanageable, living ten years with my eating disorder. I was striving to be “thin,” to be “perfect.” The thing is, after ten years that wasn’t achieved, the only thing I was winning at was the fact that I was so miserable and at the point where I had lost everything and almost my life. The idea that I was one day going to achieve this ideal body shape and be the most beautiful girl in the world was my unrealistic perfectionism. I had reached a goal that was supposed to be perfect, but in my eyes it was far from it. This is because the word perfect doesn’t exist.
With the idea of this perfect life with my eating disorder that clearly was never going to become sunshine and rainbows as I once believed, I set out for recovery, a battle that would be lost during some rounds, but won during others. To change my life and make a complete 180 with my habits and my thinking was really challenging. With practice, it didn’t make perfect, but it made it easier and less foreign to me. It is like the first day you are in Spanish class you are really confused and have no idea what the teacher is saying, but eventually you begin to learn the language and you pass the tests.
Recovery is like a rollercoaster, there are ups and there are downs and occasionally there can be huge dips that make your stomach drop. That is what it is, good moments that make you so happy, you have a smile on your face, tough moments where your strength may falter, and then there is the dips, the big falls where you may relapse in a bad hour. The thing is, life isn’t a straight line and it isn’t this high every minute. Much of the time it is dealing with the moments of just being okay and dealing with the grey area of life. The thing is the day is either great or it is terrible for us perfectionists, but our day can just be adequate and being okay with that.
To this date, being in a solid recovery for over 4 years now, there is still a rollercoaster effect. My life isn’t perfect, far from it. My life is good, I am happy, learning Mallory, and doing what I love. Then, there are days where I want to stay in bed all day and cry because something bad happened or there was a trigger that made me want to go back to my eating disorder, but I don’t. My eating disorder is no longer an option for me and it doesn’t have to be for you either. There comes a point in time when you are done making excuses for why you need the comfort of you eating disorder and how you are strong enough to make it through the really rough moments. That is what I did, I was ready to make my eating disorder not an option. Today, that is what my life looks like, it doesn’t involve moments with my eating disorder, but there are moments where it tries to take me over, but I don’t let it. We can beat this disease, together we can start a revolution and hold out hope for better days. It does get better, my eating disorder is no longer on top of me, it is way down the street from me. Never give up and always keep hope alive, because recovery is possible. There is never a day in recovery, your life you aren’t learning and growing, days you aren’t making mistakes or making strides to become better from it. Just remember that I have been there at the bottom and climbed my way to the top and you can reach the top too. Keep fighting and believe. Enjoy the beautiful ride and journey of recovery and all it can teach you.