Falling into the Appeal of the Eating Disorder

Well…I’ve hit a minor speedbump in recovery.

I’m not too worried or stressed about it, this is the natural process of recovery. The ups and downs bring tears, eating disorder behaviors, and anxiety but also valuable lessons.

 

It’s exhausting, it’s emotional and it’s annoying as fuck. Even though I see these dips as lessons, opportunities to learn from my triggers and grow, I do see them as scary reminders.

That no matter how recovered you are, the eating disorder can always come back.

When I was really sick, the eating disorder was in control of my brain 100% of the time. Everything was focused on getting skinnier.

About a year into the recovery, I developed the ability to differentiate between the real me and the eating disorder. As I move through recovery, the real me is in control a majority of the time, but the eating disorder is always fighting to take control back. When I face a series of triggers, my vulnerability makes it easy for the eating disorder to sneak in, causing what I call a dip in recovery.

It’s the strangest experience to explain, because when I fall into a dip, it’s so easy to entirely jump in despite just how strong or far along I am in recovery. I have the awareness, logic and strength to know how terrible life is when you let the eating disorder take control.

Yet once it seeps in, it’s like I’m taken back to my mindset two years ago. The familiarity of my eating disorder almost becomes comforting. And just like when you think of past lovers, I only think of the “good times” we had- not all the puking, cutting, laxatives or misery. Weakened by its false promises, I start to flirt with eating disorder behaviors.

My recovery voice is also present during these moments; soft, sometimes begging but nonetheless reminding my how terrible the eating disorder is, how unhappy I was when I let it have control.

So far, I have the logic and awareness to know this is a dip. But as I said, I’m flirting with behaviors. I find myself pinching my stomach and arms more, weighing myself more frequently, restricting during the day.

Will I get through this dip quickly? Couldn’t tell ya. I’d like to spew some line about how it’ll be a great learning experience regardless but this morning, I’m honestly just tired of it.

It’s a tough pill to swallow. That I’m always going to have to deal with my eating disorder and its bullshit. But I quickly remind myself that everyone is dealing with something, everyone is struggling in their own way so I guess I find comfort in everyone else having misery too…

We only have one choice: upward and onward. We must continue to rise, it’s sink or swim people!

 

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