Thursday, March 8, 2012
But...I've been thinking. What has made the difference for me to finally recover? And why can't they do it? If I was labelled a chronic anorexic, a "lifer," and I finally was able to get to a healthy weight and maintain it, and start to work on the crap behind the eating disorder, and finally want it, why can't they? It makes me wonder when their a-ha! moment will happen that will help them discover the happiness and joy and relief that I am experiencing.
I used to be very sick. And I was an obstinate brat on top of it. I didn't want to get better. In fact, the very first time I was in treatment at 17, I'm ashamed to say this, but the whole time I was stuck in treatment and hating it all, I was planning all along to get out and lose weight. I faked what I needed to pull the wool over everyone's eyes, and then I promptly got really sick once I was discharged. Out of treatment the second time, I did a little better. But not much. And then the third time out of treatment, hell, I left the dang treatment center weighing nearly 20 lbs less than I should have, so recovery was screwed for me from the very beginning.
But then, doing outpatient with my current therapist and dietician, something finally clicked, and I did it. So, what was it? My new treatment team? Me? Somehow wanting to change and finally be well?
I will admit that sometimes I get frustrated with people I know with eating disorders who are chronically sick, who can never be stable, but then I feel so bad, because I think, I used to be that girl. And I'm so glad I'm not anymore. And I remind myself that I need to be patient with them, because everyone has their own journey, and the paths we find to recovery are all different. Some have a straight and fairly short path to recovery. I had quite a long path, with lots of switchbacks and hills, and it wasn't easy going. And some people have it even harder than I do. I need to remember this.
I just wish I could somehow make all those I know who suffer be happy and want recovery enough that they actually commit to being healthy and doing what they need to do to get well, whether that be weight gain or stopping purging or insert ineffective eating disorder behavior here. Because for me, it's not like I still don't wish I was thin(ner) or restricting. I still have those thoughts and temptations. The difference is, I have finally chosen to not participate in those thoughts and turn them into actions. Because recovery doesn't mean you are suddenly happy and hunky dory, it just means you are learning new ways to cope with the crappy stuff. It isn't easier - in fact, I'd argue it's harder - but it's absolutely worth it. I wish I knew how to convey this to them.
I guess all I can do is pray for patience and for a way to help them. And make sure I take care of myself in the process. And hope that they can make it on their path, too.
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