Change is possible.
You’ve experienced it – there was a time when you didn’t have an ED. Now, there is. Understanding the winds of circumstance is something that’s part of the package. Believing in recovery will still be one of the most difficult things you’ve ever had to wrap your head around. Your mind will try to make you forget, but for some reason, you won’t.
Compassion is a thing you’re capable of.
This is one of the few positives that comes out of the entire ordeal. You’ve learnt that you are, indeed, susceptible to something you previously thought unlikely – and this renders you more sensitive. You’re slower to judge people. While you’ve tried to simplify the process of this whole life thing (ex. get up, get through day on lemon water, run out your thoughts, go to bed), you can’t help but feel extremely deeply.
You’re complicated. And that’s okay.
For me, my eating disorder came out of the will to be perfect, and the fear of falling short. I didn’t process being insufficient very well. This is not to say I excelled in many aspects of my life, but mentally – everything I did wrong sat awfully with me. My journey with anorexia and the depression it came with has taught me that sadness is as legitimate an emotion as happiness. Feeling murky is totally fine and you shouldn’t – no, scratch that – you can’t possibly blame yourself.
Trust is built.
At one point or another, you couldn’t trust yourself. It wasn’t part of your skill set. Heck, coming to terms with your illness was near-impossible because of it. Nonetheless, admitting it changed the game for you. Talking about the most personal of matters may not necessarily be an issue – but coming to the point where you can trust people to listen is difficult. The next step is letting people in: whether that’s your family, your doctors, your friends – you seek comfort in being honest. Yet you’re completely aware of what it means to entrust someone with your full story.
There isn’t a finish line.
“Day by day.” While an extremely common piece of advice, it’s weird how accurate it is. Some days will be better, some not so much. You may feel recovered and then something will trigger you into a night of anguish. It’s entirely possible. You may have to go through the rest of your life bearing a complicated relationship with food. You may never master positive body image. Nonetheless, that does not at all mean that it’s not worth going through. While there’s no definite end, you have the power to give yourself the best kind of trophy as you finish every lap: a chance.
You’re not invincible.
While developing the destructive habits, it’s important to reassure yourself and others that you’re in complete control. That you’ve calculated every move carefully – that if anything, this is you crafting your way back to health. You may promise yourself that you will not, under any circumstance, become a textbook case. At some point, you’ll realize the dark circumstance that you’re in: you are. This time – it’s the most normal you’ll have felt in a long time. Even if it’s weakness you find yourself admitting, it’s a part of what makes you human.
You’re also one of the strongest people you’ll ever know.
Think about it: you’re fighting something that makes you feel like you’re never going to be enough. The fact that it’s also a part of you only speaks to how accomplished you are. It’s so terrible that you have to deal with it. Still, you do. So keep at it, champ.