It’s time for a new place to live, to begin. It feels a bit like I must start over, again. How many beginnings are there in a lifetime? Just in the past year I’ve had to start anew in so many places in my life. A new understanding, a new rehab, a new structure, a new mentality, a new lifestyle, a new context, a new diet, a new community, a new city, new relationships, a new therapist, a new group of medications, new boundaries, a new awareness, a new self-talk, a new job, a sober living, a new apartment, new doubts, new realization of truths, new realization of fears, a new faith, a new self.
Just to scratch the surface.
There are many struggles each day. It begins with when I wake up with the realization that I have the whole day ahead of me. This brings about the fears and the potential excitement of what the day is to bring. My brain plays my own version of the hunger games inside of me; loving the trickery, trying to convince me I’m not actually hungry, that I don’t deserve the food, or that if I eat that string cheese I will gain too much weight. I force awake the tiny voice I have to combat my beguiling brain so that I can nourish myself, be healthy, stay abstinent from the eating disorder and be proud of myself for remaining sober and becoming healthier; to be proud each day that I do not give in to that captivating, destructive monster. The seductive darkness will always be a part of me, haunting me through my days and nights, a temptress of wicked ways and evil intent. Sometimes she is quiet, barely whispering and I go through my day almost amorously playing and it is easy to almost forget her. There are days though that it is as if she exists as vicious and heartless waves, crashing upon my thoughts with such a force that I cannot forget for a moment that I have a disease. On those particular days and nights, that truculent voice crashing in on my thoughts can drown my pride, my self-esteem, my heart. The loneliness takes over reason and rational starts to lose the battle. I deflate and sink into depression.
Thank god I have learned how to pull myself out of these defeating days and nights and that I don’t have to relapse and purge. First though, it’s important to let myself feel. I don’t ignore anything. I let myself feel the sadness and acknowledge what my brain is telling me; then comes the war. Every time my brain lies to me with something false, whether it tells me I’m fat, undeserving of love, stupid, a horrible person, ugly, disgusting, or unworthy, I make myself tell it right back that it’s just not true. I combat it even if I don’t believe what I am telling myself. Even if I don’t believe I’m smart, I still tell myself I am. I have to. I don’t have a choice. I cannot allow myself to continue to drown in waves of hate. I must try to swim even if I feel paralyzed. It’s life or death and there are too many people I love to just give up. I make myself move. I get up. I go outside. I distract. I tell people what my brain sounds like, how the crashing waves feel when they hit my body, how sick and defective I think I am and how scary it can be. The more I talk about it the less power it has. The waves get smaller and smaller and my healthy voice gets louder and louder. Eventually I’m not in the water anymore, though most of the time I’m wading, and that’s ok. At the very least I have a healthy voice to use in combat, and at the most I have a year of sobriety and love and family in my life. For that, it’s worth the war.
Filed under: Eating disorders, Recovery · Tags: anorexia, anorexia bulimia, bulimia, destructive, dieting, diets, disease, disorder, eat, eating, eating disorder, eating disorder treatment, fear, food, healthy, healthy voice, hungry, purging, purging food, realization, recovering, recovering from a eating disorder, Recovery, recovery from eating disorder, rehab, sober, sober living, sobriety, starving, struggling with an eating disorder, therapy for eating disorders, throwing up, Treatment, waves