My top ten reasons to stay recovered...
10. To prove the bitches wrong. I know I shouldn't have this really be a motivating factor to recover, but to be honest, it is. I have had quite a few therapists or dieticians not really believe I was going to recover. I was a "lifer," branded that way and forevermore, after that, treated that way. And it sucked. But not anymore! I am recovering, I am Doing It, and it feels damn goooooood. I hope they all know it somehow, maybe they read my blog, and I hope they realize they made a mistake when they predicted I'd never get better. WRONG, bitches!
9. Because I have energy! I don't miss the light-headedness and the headaches and the low energy I always felt when under-nourished. Now that I eat and give my body the nutrients it needs, I have the stamina to keep up with my kiddos every day, and not feel like I'm going to DIE. I like being able to dance to The Office theme with Cade, and pick Mila up and take her on an adventure walk, and I like that I can climb into bed at night with my husband and not be so exhausted that I don't even have the energy to talk to him. I love the way I feel physically now, and I look back to those eating disordered days and wonder how I even got through them. Definitely not going back there!
8. Eating is enjoyable. Yes folksies, believe it or not, I actually LIKE to eat! Sometimes noshing on a peanut butter Oreo, or sitting down to a nice dinner with the fam just feels really good and really right, and I not only enjoy the company I'm with, but what I'm eating, too.
7. Improved relationships. I cannot even begin to describe how my relationships with people that matter to me have improved since I have been in recovery, whether it be with my friends, my family, or my husband and kids. I have the brain-power now to be invested and interested in other people's lives. And now that I am not hiding behind the eating disorder, I am open and willing to let other people help me and (gasp!) get close to me. Well, closer, at any rate. Still working on that! But my friendships are now based on more than just how I'm (or the other person involved) is doing with their eating disorder, and blah blah I'm sick and I'm hungry blah blah. My relationships have substance, and I love being around people and getting to know them in other ways other than solely just about their eating disorder. I have more to give, and I am willing to accept more, too - more love and support and help.
6. To live a life with integrity. There's something really awesome about behaving in a way that is honest and right. Back in the eating disorder, I lied ALL THE TIME about my food intake. I threw away food when no one was looking. I watered my dietician's plant with Boost when she turned her back. That damn plant grew to be a foot tall, it was the most well nourished plant I'd ever seen! I didn't do what I would say I was going to do. I became a master liar and manipulator. And it wore on my conscience. I couldn't be trusted. But now, I can hold my head high and say with honest that I am who I am, and I'll do what I say I'll do. It feels really good.
5. To stick around. I was told several times that I would die. And it wasn't said in a casual, off-hand manner, either. My doctors were dead serious when they told me I would die if I kept my anorexia up. I was hospitalized several times for malnutrition. After having Kendall, with what should have been a very minor surgery, I hemmorraghed and nearly died. I had to get blood transfusions, my heart rate was skipping and stuttering around 160 and my blood pressure was circling the drain. And I was told this was all because of my eating disorder. When I was strongly entrenched in the ED, I wasn't sure I'd live very long, and I'm not sure I really cared. But I care now. I want to see Mila walk down the aisle, and I want to go to Cade's high school graduation. I want to have a life full of beauty and color and vitality. I have that now, and I will have that; now that I am recovered.
4. For my family. My little family; Brandon and Cade and Kendall and Mila...they are everything to me. My life revolves around them, quite happily. And when I was in my eating disorder, I wasn't a very good mommy and wife. Hell, I wasn't a very good human being, because I didn't have enough energy for that, outside somehow making it through the day. But now that recovery is here, I have time and energy to devote to them, to love them even more than I did before, if that's possible, and to really and truly appreciate them. I've put Brandon and Cade through a lot of tough stuff, leaving them both (several times) to go to treatment or to be hospitalized. They've seen me through feeding tubes, countless treatment teams, severe and persistent weight loss, and much more. But they waited for me to get through this. They believed in me. And now that I have all of myself to fully devote to them so that I can love them and squeeze them and appreciate them more...the depth and breadth of my love for them truly knows no bounds. My capacity to love with out the anorexia dragging me down is so much more noticeable. My big body is full of love!!! :)
3. Because I respect my body. This was a tough one for me to come by. I haven't always loved my body, in fact; I've damn near loathed it. A lot. I've starved and cut away my body, because I thought it was bad and gross and ugly and wrong. But now, now I'm starting to see things differently. I've put my body through so much, and it has done nothing but be good to me, and, quite plainly, SURVIVE. I love it for that - for getting me through all the crap I put it through. And, it forgives me! It has bounced back, and I am healthier and happier than I've ever before been. I don't want to hurt my body the way I used to. It's a gift from God, and it sounds lame, but I'm never going to get another one. I'm done wrecking it. It deserves more. I do.
2. For God. I'm a very religious person, contrary to what you see on this blog - I very rarely post about my religion, but I am deeply spiritual; was raised all my life to be that way. And I don't know if God is what got me to recover, I don't know if He somehow solely lifted all my problems away, helped me gain weight, and stay in recovery. I don't know all that for sure. But what I do know? I know that when, about a year ago, I decided to become more active in my church again, and to re-dedicate my life to God and to my church, things started to get better for me. It got easier to eat. It got easier to handle being at a higher body weight. Things seemed to fall into place a little more easier; just a little more naturally. So, is it God who did all those things? I don't know for sure. But I do know that since I've tried to re-dedicate my life to Him, things have gotten better. And that's good enough for me.
1. For Mila and Kendall. I believe with all my heart that Kendall gave her life for me, because it was in her sacrifice, her death, that I truly found myself, and found my will and desire to recover. She is my little hero. And I can never let her down, for giving me that beautiful gift of recovery. And Mila...if she were to grow up, watching her mama starve and whittle herself away, how would things be any different for her, when she got old enough to decide on her own if she was going to start a diet, or start losing weight? If all she saw was her mom doing it, then why wouldn't she do it? AND I WILL NEVER ALLOW THAT TO HAPPEN. I can't. The cycle of eating disorders in my family stops here, with me. Mila is going to grow up loving her body and her little curves. She's going to appreciate her body, and want to take care of it. She's going to gleefully nosh on peanut butter Oreos with me, and not feel guilty about it. It's going to be different for her. I swear to that.
Feed me! What are your reasons to recover?