“Just a lapse, not a relapse. We aren’t putting a negative connotation on this.” I sat in a doctor’s office this week weighing less than I have in 2 years and a whole lot angrier than I had felt in a long time. But, as I confessed that I hadn’t eaten a meal for an entire week, or had been surviving on RX bars and coffee, my doctor poured more grace into that wound than I’ve felt in a long, long time.
The past few weeks have ripped me apart, to be quite honest and it took me several days to realize exactly how I was dealing with it. Mainly by falling back into starvation tactics and blocking a lot of things out. Which just screams unhealthy coping mechanisms, I know.
But as we’ve talked through a lot of this little “lapse” I’ve learned so much about myself. I don’t want to talk about it too much until a post coming out later this month in conjunction with Eating Disorder Awareness Week, but also because I think processing and reflecting internally is such a huge part of recovering from anything.
I guess where I am currently at is the m i d d l e of recovery, which we don’t talk about much. Having come so far, but still having a ways to go. We see a lot about the beginnings (the roughest stuff) and the other side (the happier stuff).
I could go forward or go back.
What does that look like?
Going back looks like continuing this nice little destructive pattern I’ve found these past few weeks. “No time to buy groceries”, I say. “Too busy for a meal right now”, I’ve told friends. ” I just can’t find my appetite”, I’ve used as an excuse. Celebrating the fact that some jeans I bought in 2016 are sitting low on my hips now. Secretly enjoying all of it. Again.
But that also looks like being angry and tired and emotional all of the time.
It means having a growling tummy constantly and taking 5 hour naps on the reg.
Going forward almost can seem just as scary though. It means a lot of vulnerability and a lot of self-care. It means focusing on feeding myself (which is legitimately my least favorite thing to do), less excuses, and asking for help.
It means prioritizing and reflecting instead of blocking out what I don’t want to see or hear. It means scheduling appointments and following through.
But that also looks like finding peace with a lot of things and enjoying all of the good that comes along with that.
The middle of things like this can be scary. Go back to the familiar or walk a little further into unknown.
To be very honest, I’ve felt like going back would be easier. Finding an old rhythm feels good sometimes. Having something to blame it all on. Looking in the mirror and seeing the one thing in life I can really control.
But I had a really cool opportunity on Friday. I can’t wait to share it with all of you.
In the middle of that experience I got asked why I started this blog or why I continue to share all of the weird parts of recovering from an eating disorder. And my answer was, and always will be simple.
It’s because if I had seen anyone talking about these things whenever I was actively starving myself and couldn’t stop, I may have seen a little more hope. I may have been a little quicker to ask for help. Maybe the middle wouldn’t be such a scary place.
The last time I posted I got some nasty comments- ‘you’re doing this for attention’. ‘Do you just need people to tell you they are proud of you?’
My answer? No. Re-read that bolded paragraph. I don’t need affirmation or compliments for what I’ve accomplished through recovery. Actually it’s really uncomfortable to read all of the comments on my posts.
But I’ll continually write through this process no matter what because the middle is messy and weird and tough but it’s worth it. And I’d love to see anyone else dealing with this make it to the middle.