recovery

The End Is In Sight

Last week I hit a major milestone in my life, I finished counselling.

Odd place to start my journey as a’blogger’ but bear with me.

I have been in the firm grip of an eating disorder since the tender age of 14. Binge eating which progressed into bulimia. I have been in recovery for the past 4 years and it has been the hardest, most miserable battle of my life.

My experience of recovery was not pleasant and I can imagine the same can be said for pretty much everyone who has had an eating disorder, it is a gruelling and exhausting journey, filled with doubt, feeling as if it will never end, like you will be stuck in this limbo with food forever. You have so called professionals judging you and not understanding why you can’t ‘just eat’ or can’t just ‘stop eating’ and then there’s just the general population shoving mental health stigma in your face telling you to ‘just get over it’ or ‘it’s all in your head.’ Of course it’s all in my head you loons, it’s a mental illness! But of course all of those discouraging words have a massive impact on someone who is already so vulnerable.

So yeah, you feel as if the whole process is against you right from the get go, but you keep going, you find someone to help you and cling on for dear life. You have a few stumbles, sometimes they’re huge and all consuming, other times it’s easier to get back on track. The blips are okay, they are what make you human. You keep seeing your counsellor, or your psychiatrist, or any other number of people that know what they’re talking about. Then slowly (really slowly) you start to feel a bit more like you again, you manage to get out of bed on the awful days instead of sitting at home and wallowing, you start to get a hold of you triggers and note what makes you go back to that dark place. For me it’s change, I just couldn’t deal with it. Any form of change would suck me right back down the rabbit hole and I’d stay there for days, weeks even, but you work it out, you find other ways to channel the uncomfortable thoughts and feelings. You plod on, even on the days when it feels as if the world is against you, then bit by bit the world gets brighter, you notice the small things that warm you from the inside out, you start thinking less about food, more about life.

for me the turning point was when I could go into marks and spencers on my lunch break I wasn’t feeling sick and light headed at the thought of picking out food unplanned, then I realised I wasn’t waiting for each Monday to come around so I could ‘start again’ and not engage in my bad habits. I kept noticing all these small things that were building up over time, all the things that were indicating I was firmly on my way to recovery, of course I doubted it, of course I freaked out and sabotaged myself. My counsellor was a Godsend, she has pretty much built me back up from the rubble I was when I entered her office all those years ago and she kept building me up when I fell back down. Not once did she tell me I couldn’t recover, not once did she doubt me and for that I am so grateful. Because that’s what you need, someone to show you the right way when it starts getting grey.

Then it gets to the point where you have to start trying on your own, the scariest thought. How did I know when it was right to stop seeing my counsellor? I felt content. For years that is all I’ve been searching for, the feeling of contentment, to know that I will be okay in the long run. No, not happiness, for that can come and go whereas being content, once you’ve got it, pretty much never disappears again.

So here I am, nearing the end of my journey, with a small feeling of loss, which I guess you wouldn’t fully understand unless you’ve been in some form of my shoes. How can you miss something that nearly destroyed you? Because it was something that comforted me for so many years and to unlearn those habits and those feelings is a hard slog. But it is doable and when you feel like running back in to the arms of something that has comforted you for so long, just remember those moments of triumph, even if they are only small, those moments are building you back up into something great.

 

 

 

 

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7 thoughts on “The End Is In Sight

  1. When I read this Lu I get an insight into your journeying. Such a hard journey, a path so often walked, because of it’s very nature, without a compass. I trust and pray that others will find insight and strength from your words and reflections. The following quote is one I have often used, it is about victory. It is about your journey.

    “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat. ”

    You have been in that arena, you have known the dust and sweat and blood of struggle. You have worked hard, been powerful, struggled, known the highs and lows and not failed. Yours is the triumph of high achievement. You dared greatly and will never stand with the cold and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat. The laurel wreath of victory is yours. Well done my precious baby.
    All love Dad xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What an incredible and well written blog Lucy.
    A four year journey that cries for the goal of contentment, driven by path of hidden suffering.

    Strange though that I read this on the back of our recent but brief conversation on the virtues of councillors.
    For me I guess your article answers the question I begged. Your professional councillor guided you on the path to your recovery but you are the only life coach you ever need.

    With regard to the stigma attached to the condition seems to be one of ignorance or blind enlightenment.
    Some public knowledge of the illness of Anorexia through the weak and uneducated delivery of media is realised in a usually very crass manner.
    Yet little is known, and therefore with even less understanding with regard to the condition of Bulimia.
    I wish the world realise these conditions are disorders of the mind and not disorders of consumption.

    I hope your article finds itself being read out to a community one Sunday morning because says as much about light, darkness, hope and the human spirit as any other.

    Lucy, I wish you well on your forward journey!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. ThankYou so much for sharing this, i have a friend who went through similar and it strikes a chord with me. i’m new to blogging and im following people who inspire me and who have good things to say! would you mind following my back? I myself am passionate about speaking out about mental health, i’m just getting started 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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