THOUGHTS ON MY EATING DISORDER RECOVERY

today, i went to a NEDA walk at american university. i met up with some of my friends from treatment, kind of thrown together last-minute — i wasn't planning on going at all until thursday night. but i went, and it really got me thinking about my recovery for the first time in a while.
  1. for a long time, i thought my eating disorder was all i was ever going to accomplish.
  2. it was everything i thought about, everything i did, everything i was.
  3. even when i started going to treatment, it was a gigantic part of my life.
  4. i thought about recovery, i thought about my eating disorder.
    should i do it, should i not do it, why was this happening, does anybody eat normally, is any of this worth it
  5. i agonized over whether i would ever be "recovered" or if i would always be "in recovery";
  6. if there would be a day when i could choose a meal without thinking about the calories in it,
  7. or the calories in the meal i ate before,
  8. or what that meant for the calories in the meal i would or wouldn't eat later.
  9. if there would be a day that didn't start with weighing myself.
  10. first in the bathroom,
  11. then in the hallway,
  12. then in my room, to find the average between them all to account for whether or not the floor made a difference in how accurate it was.
  13. or if there would ever be a day when i would know what people thought about all the time if not food or weight or eating or how fat their arms were.
  14. sometimes they would bring in women who had graduated from treatment to tell us all about how much better it got, how you could have a life after it all.
  15. but i didn't believe that, not even for a second.
  16. i had never been more sure of anything than i was of the fact that such a day would never come.
  17. not for me, at least.
  18. i left treatment in the fall of 2014 — about a year and a half ago, at this point.
  19. and sure enough, eventually, that day came.
  20. little by little, i thought about it less and less.
  21. these days, most of the time, i hardly think about it at all.
  22. there are still days when i do, of course.
  23. after i got fired, it was hard to make myself eat.
  24. i spent all day at my boyfriend's apartment, not eating, until i broke down and cried and he made me dinner at 8:30 at night and held me after i ate it.
  25. but that used to be my every day, and now it is just my once-in-a-blue-moon day.
  26. i do think i will always be "in recovery," but that doesn't mean every meal is a battle.
  27. it means the battles are so much smaller and easier to win now that i am strong.
  28. it means i am aware of myself, my body, and the choices i make about food.
  29. it means i might not be able to fit into the same clothes i did a year and a half ago,
  30. or not fit in the same clothes the same way,
  31. but it also means i won't torture myself for it,
  32. and that i don't own a scale at all anymore.
  33. but whatever "in recovery" means in the details, what it really means most of all is that i am so much more than i ever thought i could be.
  34. i am not my eating disorder, and nobody else should have to be either.