Today, I had an epiphany. It was magical and surreal and nearly knocked me off my feat. But let’s back up to the moments right before the epiphany… Because those are even more crucial.
I attended a conference today, hosted by the Eating Recovery Center. This was not my first eating disorder recovery conference, nor will it be my last. However, this conference quite literally changed my life– or rather, how I viewed my life. I was sitting at a round table, having one of my “spirals” again. It started out with that little seed of self-doubt, that told me “Maybe you aren’t really in recovery”. Immediately, I panicked. I run a recovery blog, I have morphed my entire life’s purpose into spreading the message of hope and recovery and I had told the world that I had been in solid recovery for years.
It started spiraling from there. The initial seed of doubt grew into a tree of accusations. I started recounting all the incidences in the past few years when I had stepped on a scale; when I restricted just a little bit so nobody would notice; when I threw up naturally but secretly relished it, when I airbrushed a photo to make myself look thinner; and on, and on, and on went the list. I had nearly worked myself into a panic attack in the middle of the conference, knit-picking all the times when my recovery wasn’t perfect.
And then, I stopped abruptly in my tracks. My recovery was just fine. I was not a faker. I put in honest work, and made honest mistakes, which I proceeded to learn from. But I was concerned that even a few years into solid recovery, I was still holding myself to a higher standard– i was striving to be perfect at the very thing that was supposed to challenge my perfectionism. This was when I had my epiphany.
I decided right then and there that no longer was I in recovery, I was recovered. I hadn’t engaged in full-blown eating disorder behavior in years. Holding onto the notion of recovery was my way of telling myself, I am safe, nothing is permanent, I can go back at any time. But the truth is, I don’t want to go back, at least not to my eating disorder. I want to move forward with my life. I want to write about my life as a recovered anorexic and leave my disorder far, far away in the distant past.
The truth is, I have worked harder to be in recovery than I had for any other goal. Getting into my top-choice college was much easier than reaching a full recovery from anorexia. However, neither of those goals were impossible, and I have achieved them both. Now, it is my choice to be recovered, to finally move on from that demon who took away my adolescence. I want it to be permanent, forever. My future is too bright to be dimmed by a monster inside my head, which in truth, has been dormant for years. Nothing is holding me back. I am ready to move on, once and for all. And it is oh, so freeing. Full recovery is possible, and I believe this with my whole heart. You, too, can reach a full recovery, whenever you choose. Take a deep breath, set your hand on the gates, throw them open with confidence, and step into the world of the recovered. You are free. Sending all my love!