When I made the decision to seek help with my eating disorder, I was very wary. I couldn't even picture a world where I wasn't plagued with disordered thoughts. I had resolved myself to give up my control mechanism, my sense of comfort, the thing that made me feel special--albeit all of these elements of my eating disorder were lies. I had no idea what would be waiting when I gave up my anorexia. I had no idea what this thing, recovery, was.
As unrealistic as it might be, I wish someone had told me all about recovery and what to expect.
I wish someone had told me that recovery isn't constant.
I wish someone had told me that slips are expected.
I wish someone had told me the difference between a slip and a relapse. ( Which, if you don't know, is: a slip is a use of a behaviour, but then return to recovery life; a relapse is reverting to symptomatic daily behaviours. You have decided to return to your behaviours.)
I wish someone had told me that a slip can become a relapse, but it doesn't have to.
I wish someone had told me that there is NO SHAME in slipping or relapsing.
I wish someone had told me that I would feel like shit some days..
I wish someone had told me that it is okay to not be okay.
I wish someone had told me that it would be uncomfortable to explain where you were when you were getting treatment, especially if it interfered with your schooling or normal work schedules.
I wish someone had told me that people were going to say things like "oh! you look so healthy now. You gained weight."
I wish someone had told me that it is okay to be angry when people do comment, like the above.
I wish someone had told me to respond with "Thank you, but I focus on my mental health now, and not my physical appearance and I would appreciate it if you did, too."
I wish someone had told me that you will get tired of constantly hearing "to do self-care."
I wish someone had told me that going back to "normal" life after treatment is really f-ing hard.
I wish someone had told me that my body would keep changing. And that it is okay.
I wish someone had told me that a bad day doesn't have to mean a bad week, month, etc.
I wish someone had told me that I can ask for help. Whenever, wherever, from whomever, I need it.
I wish I had known how amazing life would be. Even though it is hard, sometimes.
I wish someone had told me about how much more free I would feel.
But most of all, I wish someone had told me that to be in recovery does not mean you are done with your battle.
I have learned so many lessons throughout my recovery, but the biggest one for me has been that recovery is a process. I hold the opinion that you are never done recovering. (Though I know some will disagree with me on this.)
I don't believe in recovered, but a constant work-in-progress type of recovery. A messy, real, honest person who has hard days, but fights like hell to be free from an eating disorder anyway. A person who knows that, throughout life, he or she will change again, and that is okay.
you have to
get to the root
of the wound
and kiss it all the way up"