The Awkward Space Between Relapse And Recovery
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Health and Wellness

The Awkward Space Between Relapse And Recovery

The Awkward Space Between Relapse And Recovery

“How are you doing” is such a complicated question for me to answer. I can’t say I’m doing badly because I’m not. Physically, my body is healthy and weight restored. I can think more clearly, and I have the tools I need to cope. I’m so happy that I am no longer living a secret life. I cannot say that I’m doing well either. I still despise the way my body looks in clothes or when I accidentally spot myself in the mirror when running from the shower to my bed. I still feel awful when I remember that I have food inside me. I still compare myself to every woman, man, child, doll, dog that I see. I still cry sometimes because the urges to use symptoms are taking over my entire being and sometimes they win. I'm restricting but I'm eating a hell of a lot more in amount and variety than I was before. So now I’m floating through life (or to me it feels more like walking through we cement) trying to figure out what I'm doing. Am I in recovery? Or am I in relapse? I don’t know. These are some things I'm learning while in this awkward, uncomfortable, frustrating stage in my recovery.

“I can’t have a life until I'm well, but I can’t start to get well until I have a life.”

  • I read something along the lines of this in an article and it hit me at full speed without a warning. I get impatient sometimes. I just want to be “normal” already, but I can’t be normal until I start to move on from the self-destruction. I want to be able to eat drunken pizza on a Friday night without freaking out afterwards, but I will not be able to do that until I stop scrolling through hours of eating disorder blogs at 2 a.m. Why would I ever want to stop being hungry when anorexia was the most interesting thing about me?

I cant help it (sometimes)

  • I need to accept the fact that I have an eating disorder. I need to be patient with myself. I'm going to look through thinspo and old pictures of myself. I will have knots in my stomach when I compare them to my current self. I cant help it. I'm going to have lapses. The ED will control me for a little bit. Ill snap back. I cant help it. I'm going to want to speak through my actions instead of my words. I will go out of my way trying to do this. I cant help it. I will feel as though I was never sick enough; I will most likely restrict because of this. Someone will make an ignorant comment about literally almost anything; I will use this as an excuse to fall back for a bit. I cant help it. This is the only way know how to live.

I'm a pro bull-shitter

I’m bullshitting when you ask how I am and I say good because good shouldn’t be losing sleep to nightmares of hospitals and tubes and mac n cheese. Good shouldn’t be planning out a relapse and then eating food. sitting heavy like a rock crying over a toilet wishing I was able to throw up the pain inside. I’m bullshitting because I hate the idea of being weak and I hate pity. I’m bullshitting because I’m tired of living in a grey world of numbers and control and I’m bullshitting because maybe by pretending that I’m all better I might just start to be.

The things I did while in the depths of my illness both encourage and hinder my recovery.

Shameful things I have done because of my eating disorder:

Spent late nights scrolling through thinspo, Read Wintergirls like a holy text, Read through pro-Ana forums, Researched eating disorders excessively, Watched anorexia documentaries, the same ones multiple times Felt superior to my friends because I ate less, Hated people who were smaller than me, Been jealous of little kids’ bodies, Cut myself, Exercised to earn my next meal, Exercised to burn off my last meal, Counted calories like it was my job, Recounted them just in case, Hid food because I couldn’t eat it, Hid food to eat when I was alone, Stood in front of a mirror to scrutinize my flaws for hours, Thrown away food outside so my mom wouldn’t know, Thrown away wrappers outside so my mom wouldn’t know, Stuffed bread into the seat of a restaurant’s booth, Secretly spit out food into my napkin during family dinner, Took the cheese out of my sub and dropped it under the table at a restaurant, Intentionally ordered my food with sauces I don’t like so I’d eat less of it, Pretended to drop food, Went to bed early to avoid eating more, Chewed food and then spit it out, Lied and said I ate more than I did, Lied and said I ate less than I did, Lied, all the time, I am so done with this. I'm not going to miss 9% of my life to weight 5% less.

There is more to me than my eating disorder:

Sometimes I forget this. For years I kept my secret hidden in journals and online forums. Now, my secret is out. I want to scream it from the rooftops as an “FU” to the people who failed to notice my cry for help. I want to spread awareness so maybe, just maybe I can help one person. But, I also need to remember that if I keep focusing on peoples and things related to eating disorders (recovery oriented or not) it is going to stop me from focusing on everything else in my life that I love to do. I love the outdoors and eating cookie dough and Halloween and rocking out to the Jonas brothers in my pajamas with my friends and painting and knitting and playing softball and catching up with old friends and trying new things. I am not my eating disorder, I am Marisa.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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