One sticking point that keeps re-occurring is how do you know if you’re recovered? Are you ever recovered or just permanently ‘in remission’ and learning to control the anorexic thoughts/behaviours?
Truthfully? I don’t know.
But one thing I have noticed is that you can’t expect a big change over night. Yes, sometimes there’s a point where you may have a sudden ‘revelation’ and truly decide you have hit rock bottom, can’t carry on and want to get better-i know i did- but by no means did this mean all my fears disappeared in a heart beat! The changes are so small that you don’t notice them day to day but you have to just focus on tiny goals every day. You can’t get disheartened by slow progress. Constantly work on one tiny challenge at a time and slowly slowly they add up. Set yourself 3-5 little goals for the week and focus on them, it’s like anything that takes practice, if you have the positive thoughts for long enough they eventually become the norm.
I’ve chipped away at my issues one manageable step at a time, sometimes feeling like i’m spinning my wheels and then one day I looked back and realised ‘oh I forgot to weigh myself this week’ – when previously it would be the first thing on my mind every morning and at numerous points throughout the day….or ‘oh I don’t count all my steps anymore’ – even though I can’t consciously remember deciding to stop. But the one biggest change I’ve noticed occur over time is my biggest fear is no longer gaining ‘too much’ weight. Yes, this is still a big fear of mine, I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t-but the one thing I’m now scared of above anything else is the idea of relapse. It’s easy to forget the darkest times-and push them to the back of my mind because it’s too painful to remember all that distress, panic and exhaustion. The aching muscles and bones, the nights spent trying to stay awake out of fear that if I fall asleep I might not wake up. At the time it seems like your ‘safe little bubble’ because you don’t have feel anything -you’re completely numb to it-just plodding through each day. That is why recovery is so hard sometimes, you start to feel all the pain you have inflicted on yourself but blocked out at the time.
But I can honestly say it is 150% worth it- and nothing in this world could make me go back there.
So the take away from this is you don’t have to run before you can walk, or even crawl as the case may be but don’t stop. Keep looking forward and don’t look back.
Lot of love..Emma xo