8 Things Recovery Taught Me

Gossip Girl taught me how to throw up to get thin. It didn’t teach me about the consequences: hair loss, teeth implants and brittle bones. All it took was a dose of control issues coupled with amplified self-hatred, but there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. My recovery speaks softly but has a lot to say.

You’re going to hurt people and they’re still going to care about you.

Your best friend catches you with your fingers down your throat and begs you to eat an apple for lunch. Her heart hurts and you’re the one hurting her. When she forces you to eat a slice of pizza, she says she isn’t going to let you do this. She loves you at 150 or 105 and she isn’t going to stop.

It’s not your parents’ job to fix you.

And they don’t even know how to start. They don’t know whether or not to tell you they even know why you go to the bathroom after every meal. You know they know. You resent them for not stopping you or lecturing you or grounding you. Even though, the only person who can stop you is you. If you need help, you need to ask.

You might not think your body is a temple, but your mind deserves some respect.

You’re actually kind of witty. People think you’re funny and that your sarcasm is charming, but you’re too hungry to be witty. You’re too busy thinking about eating, not eating, how many calories were in that pastry, how many calories you can cut, how badly you want regular coke, but still drink diet. You’re too obsessed to be witty. Give your mind a break and think about something else.

Sex is better when you’re not hungry.

You shouldn’t have to worry about your thin hipbones grinding into another person too hard or what she thinks of your elbows. Are you just cramping from an empty stomach or is this what it is supposed to feel like? Pleasure, intimacy, love all feel pretty unobtainable when you’re trying to not think about what the other person thinks of you… naked.

So is Dating.

How do you enjoy the person you’re with if you can’t think about anything but dodging dinner? Cut it up into small bits and push it around the plate, offer it to the other person, hope they don’t notice. Bring a toothbrush in your purse. Think about fitting in the bathroom trip between dinner and the movie. Say you don’t like popcorn at the movies. They do notice.

You don’t have to love yourself to love someone else.

You love her, but your therapist told you to try to keep a plant alive for six weeks and that you only love that she loves you, but you love her laugh and the way she tries to sing in French and her patience. You like her wrists and her pretty eyes and the movies she likes. You’re not in love with yourself yet, but it doesn’t mean you’re immune to her. No one could be.

You deserve better.

Everything. You deserve to eat better food, to sleep better, to love more, to live more, to make out more, to have better sex, to drink more, to talk more, to laugh more, to meet better people. You deserve to do it a long time and to do it you have to eat.

You’re gay, but it’s not the end of the world. It’s just the beginning of you.

When you were your thinnest, you met her and then you got thinner. Then she helped you get better. Then you fell in love with her. Mid-manifestation, you had to face the facts; you’re gay. You’re very, very gay, but it’s not the end of being straight. You were never straight to begin with it. It’s the beginning of the life you always deserved. (See #7) Enjoy yourself and keep loving her. She is so good for you.

So is eating. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

More From Thought Catalog