Recovery is lonely. Even when you have an amazing support system, there are some things that no one else can understand. There are days that are dark, no matter how brightly the sun is shining and you are exhausted from all of the effort it takes to keep it all together. It’s easy to write about the wisdom I have gained and how far I have come in my recovery from my eating disorder. Writing about a bad day in recovery is a different story.
When I first stepped into therapy, one of the promises I made myself was to be 100% honest. I started with myself, my therapist, and my immediate family. I soon added my closest friends. When I started this blog, I knew it would be no good without complete candor, so here it is: the truth. Yesterday was a bad day. And this is what it looked like...
I feel the fog rolling in and can practically see it obstructing my view. I hear a faint chuckle as the eating disorder blows the fog my way...a fog full of self-defeating thoughts....a fog so heavy it crushes my very belief system. It’s like an out of body experience. The cycle goes like this - I get overwhelmed, the negative self-talk begins (“you’re doing too much”, “you’ll never catch up”, “and, by the way, you are fat”) and my mood goes downhill fast. I get bitchy and hear myself like it’s someone else talking. And it is. It is the eating disorder. That manipulative jerk that sneaks in the back door of my mind as soon as the smallest crack appears. I picture him like a black mist; like a smoky fog that can seep into every crevice of my mind. A murky, black fog that is void of goodness. It is, in its essence, negativity. It is dark, bad, ugly energy. It appears when you catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror at the wrong angle. It appears when you are standing in your closet trying to find something to wear, a pile of clothes gathered around your feet. It appears at the refrigerator door. Sometimes it appears out of the clear blue sky and that is when you really feel like the rug has been pulled out from under you. I know there will be hard days. My goal is for there to be less and less of them, for the fog to lift earlier each time. But when it’s foggy, it gets loud too and then it’s hard to hear my true self talking. Her voice is choking on the heavy mist.
I don’t share all of this so you will feel sorry for me. I don’t share to scare you. I want to shed some light. I want others who feel the same way to know they are not alone. And I want them to know that I now have many more good days than bad.
So how do you eradicate something that exemplifies darkness? With light! The first step is always awareness. Noticing this and being able to describe it is a huge step for me. One of the eating disorder’s powers is in his ability to make you think his thoughts are actually yours. So deceitful! The good news is, I am on to him. The bad news is, he isn’t leaving without a fight. The greatest power I have right now is the power to begin again tomorrow. Tomorrow is a new day, a clean slate, a fresh page. I will gather up so much good that there will be no room for black, murky, dusty fog. I will breathe, I will kick ass at yoga, I will surround myself with friends and loved ones. I will push through.
So, yesterday was a bad day. I survived it and feel a little stronger today because of it and because of that, today is a good day. So if you are on the path to recovery, remember that I am by your side. I am fighting the fight with you and for you. And I wholeheartedly believe that this fight is ours to win.