A question that has been flitting around my mind recently,
Am I recovered?
Maybe in the grand scheme of things I am.
I can eat with friends without panicking,
I can buy food and not eat it all in one sitting,
I no longer make myself sick, count calories, exercise to extremes or weigh myself.
So I’m sure, from the outside looking in, many people would probably say that I’m recovered.
But how does anyone know? It’s not as if the magic recovery faerie appears by your side, awards you with a certificate and a medal: ‘Well done you’re better.’
In fact, the whole ‘end of recovery’ process brings up more questions than it answers.
Is this going to be the relationship that I have with food from now on?
Do I still have problems that need addressing or is this how most people are around food?
Will I ever be fully comfortable with my appearance?
Am I okay hun? (Only joking…. but am I?)
I know there’s speculation as to whether full recovery from an eating disorder is possible. Some people believe absolutely yes, others have arrived at the conclusion that you can recover but still have a sensitivity towards food and I’m sure there are many people like me who just don’t know.
Whilst I’m 100 times better than I was at the beginning of this journey, I know that right now I still have worries. Worries about not fitting in, about being average, about having this as my only identity, worries about gaining weight and I think that’s where half the problem lies, the fact that, on a whole, our society is so AGAINST weight gain and people living in larger bodies. So for someone recovering from an eating disorder, it just confirms all of those beliefs that ‘fat is bad, skinny is good’. How can we move past such a destructive and devastating illness when everywhere we look there’s adverts giving us new ways to loose weight, there’s social media giving unrealistic standards of bodies, there’s family and friends who are fixated on being slim, clean eating and cutting out food groups. I’m not blaming anyone, we’re all just doing our best to fit in.
But unless you really work at it, unless you find people in this world who don’t view skinny as the only body type, as the only way to be beautiful or ‘healthy’ it will be an ongoing struggle. We need to change our attitudes towards weight, food and dieting and we need to do it fast.
So maybe this is as good as it gets or maybe I still have work to do… Of course I have work to do, even if it is a daunting prospect to delve back into the discomfort, to reach out for a little assistance in aid to better myself.
I’ve found that the mere thought of bettering my mental well being further is quite overwhelming. There’s so many different therapies; CBT, DBT, counselling, life coaches, self help books plus a million more I haven’t even considered. So I don’t think I’m fully recovered, Will I ever be? Who knows. I believe this to be a continuous journey, at least for now.