This morning has given way to more contemplation about the events and progression of my life. Today I think back to eating disorder recovery and drawing parallels between then and now. Why wasn’t I able to get here from there when I tried so hard and for so long? How was I able to get here from there, finally? Where did recovery start and how does it evolve?
Admittedly, I share but only one story of eating disorder recovery – mine. Every body follows a different path. But, on a fundamental level, I truly believe the path out of the hell that is ED is a similar path for everyone. But once we’re out of hell’s grip, the paths we choose to follow are varied.
And therein lies a very real truth. In the depths of it, ED is WHO we are. Every choice we make is not our own but the one that ED tells us to make. We believe ED and ED guides us in absolutely every decision we make. I use the word “guide” very loosely because ED doesn’t really guide us. ED offers choices and makes us contradict every decision we make if it flies in the face of what ED is telling us. We, as real, live, thinking, feeling human beings, cease to exist. Is ED the devil? Perhaps. We feed ED and ED survives. If we starve ED, ED dies. And once ED dies, we slowly start to emerge from the depths of darkness and into the light where our own being comes to light. We grow strong and powerful in our connection with the world and we become real.
So where does the emergence of self begin? It begins with trust. It starts with a tiny little seed of trust somewhere deep in yourself that says ED isn’t right, ED hurts, there has to be a better way. And you start to listen. You hold firm in the voice you choose to listen to and eventually that voice becomes the loudest in the room.
- I heard the tiny voice that said, “This isn’t right. It hurts too much to be right.”
- I listened to the prompting that said, “You can’t do this on your own. You need another voice to guide you. ED is too strong and right now you are too weak.”
- I trusted my team and let them lead the way.
- I trusted my team with every ounce of belief I had.
- I followed my team’s guidance and wisdom and advice, blindly if you will, reminding myself that I did not know the way out.
- I let my team be my voice of reason until I had developed my own voice of reason.
Let’s be clear. When one has NEVER listened to their own voice of truth and reason, it takes a long time to start to hear it, to feel it again.
I took very small steps, often with a lot of hand holding. I turned over 1000% of myself to what my team was teaching me and where they were guiding me to. I had to. The only other leader in my life was ED and it was leading me straight to hell. This I knew.
It’s like learning to walk. I felt like an infant. They (my team) carried me at first but then I got restless. They put me down and held my hand so I didn’t fall. I got restless again. They let go of my hand. I fell. They picked me up and held my hand until I was ready to try again. Eventually the hand-holding became less necessary. We started to take walks together – no hand-holding – just my support walking beside me in comfort. Gradually, I began to walk faster and faster and faster…I started to run. I was running into myself with love.
All the basic fundamental rules of food and eating and taking care of self, those have been ingrained in me. And now, I can make choices about everything in my life because I am strong.
I know myself today. I will know myself better tomorrow. And every choice I make, today or tomorrow, is grounded in my knowledge of self and love.