Good morning mes amours! <3 Motivational Wednesday (Is that a thing? Okay, well if it’s not, I’m so making it a thing), 5:31AM, waddup?
As I mentioned in a couple of my previous posts, the outpour of love & support I have received since “coming out about” my battle with anorexia & my (going-to-be-very-long-but-making-progress) journey throughout recovery has been FAR BEYOND anything I could’ve ever expected & I am SO THANKFUL to have each & every single one of you in my lives (near or far) & by my side as I tackle this B. All this to say, last week, a really old (but good) friend of mine (who also battled anorexia & RECOVERED years ago #WeAreFierce) reached out to me to tell me how happy & proud she was of my progress, BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY, to reassure me that BAD DAYS ARE OK. THEY ARE NORMAL. THEY ARE PART OF THE PROCESS. BAD DAYS PASS & THEY DO NOT MEAN THAT RECOVERY IS HINDERED OR HAS FAILED.
As you all know by now, recovery is not something that just happens (Well, it wasn’t for me, at least). I didn’t just jump out of bed one morning (at 5:00AM) & decide, “Okay, today is the day I am going to recover” & then suddenly, BAM, I was cured. No, it really didn’t happen that way & I don’t think it does for most people, although you have no idea how badly I WISH it could. I’ve learned, in the past a-little-over-two-months that RECOVERY HAS TO BE AN ACTIVE PROCESS, NOT A PASSIVE ONE. IT MUST ALWAYS REMAIN PURPOSEFUL. What do I mean? What I mean is that I did not only choose recovery that February 6th night in my therapist’s office. I CHOOSE RECOVERY EVERY SINGLE DAY. How so, you ask? I look at the delicious bowls of nutrition-packed, mushy, perfectly-sweet overnight oats, the smooth almond butter smothered all over EVERYTHING, the plates of fluffy pancakes, flakey Cod, raw tartare crunchy salads, maple-y French toast, perfectly-toasted sprouted bread, eggs (with perfect yolks, DUH!) for days, the scrumptiously-delicious-warm muffins & cookies oozing with fresh fruit & cinnamon (GAH, the list can go on FOREVER MY LOVES) AND SAY, “TODAY, I CHOOSE YOU”. And most of all, I wake up the next morning, smile down at my beautiful body with all of its imperfections and say, “TODAY, I CHOOSE YOU”.
I do these things constantly. I remind myself of why I am recovering OVER & OVER AGAIN. Because, truth be told, it is a difficult process (For me, the most difficult one since losing my best friend, my mom). It is a process that takes not only commitment, but also time, effort & A HELL OF A LOT OF STRENGTH (I mean, I’ve essentially become Superwoman. So watch out people, this could get cray-cray).
There are GOOD DAYS, when I enjoy every single last bite (LITERALLY, to the point where I legit lick the plate… TMI, right? #sorrynotsorry). When I conquer “fear foods” FLAWLESSLY. When I look in the mirror & feel PRETTY. When I step on the scale & see the numbers go up (& do my happy dance – CUTEST THING EVER, BTW). When I legit feel like Beyoncé, Priyanka Chopra & Miranda Kerr all rolled into one stunning, FIERCE, independent, FAB woman. When I whip up a beautiful dish & share it with all of you. When I spend my days in the kitch & get inspired. When I feel ENERGIZED (a.k.a. I no longer feel exasperated when I go up a flight of stairs. Yes, my loves, it got to that point & it was scary as effing hell). When I FOCUS ON ME. When I make MYSELF a priority. When I have “ME-TIME”. When I get phone calls & messages from family, old friends, new friends & even strangers to tell me how much they love & care about me, to tell me they are right there with me & to keep going because I’m on the right track, and best of all, to tell me what an inspiration I am to be sharing my journey. And, BELIEVE ME WHEN I SAY THAT I HOLD ON TO THOSE DAYS. My loves, those are the days when choosing recovery is EASIER (So to all my supporters, THANK YOU. I LOVE YOU!).
BUT, the naked truth (No pun intended) about anorexia recovery is that THERE ARE ALSO & THERE WILL CONTINUE TO BE, BAD DAYS & these bad days are VERY REAL (Please do not equate them with your bad hair days… OKAY? I know that bad hair days SUCK, seriously, but these are a tad harder, ok?). What do those days entail, you ask? The bad days are the ones when you wake up & want to crawl straight back into bed (And never come out!!!). When you feel alone. When you become terrified that anorexia will regain control of not only your body but also of your mind. When you fear that our life will fall apart & spiral out of control YET AGAIN & that there will be nothing you can do to stop it. When you feel ugly & terrible in your own skin. Where you suddenly have a total breakdown. When you feel anxious & it’s not going away. When you feel like those that should be supporting you THE MOST have failed to do so. When you see or hear that people were talking about your situation & judging you for decisions you finally gained the courage to make, decisions, which should in fact have been taken a long time ago. When you wish you could just snap your fingers & “be normal” again. My loves, those days are HARD. REALLY FREAKING HARD.
What’s worse is that recovery has turned me into such a carefree & outgoing person that when the bad days do hit, they catch me completely & totally off guard (I am also happy, proud & very THANKFUL to say that the bad days happen SO INFREQUENTLY). And in that moment, all I think about is WHEN MY LIFE WAS A CONTINUOUS SPIRAL OF BAD DAYS. REALLY, MY LIFE WAS JUST ONE REALLY-REALLY-REALLY-LONG-LASTING-FOR-INFINITE-HOURS BAD DAY THAT I THOUGHT WOULD NEVER END. AND, this my loves, HELPS ME GET BACK UP BECAUSE I SAY WITH UTTER CONFIDENCE THAT I WILL NEVER EVER GO BACK TO THAT SCARY, DARK MENTAL PLACE. It is THE FURTHEST CRY from reality for me.
AND SO, in the past few months, I’ve learned that the BAD DAYS are the days when IT REALLY COUNTS, WHEN IT REALLY MATTERS. THOSE ARE THE DAYS WHERE I MUST ACTIVELY CHOOSE RECOVERY, WHEN I MUST DIG IN & NOT JUST TAKE THE EASY ROAD (No, I do not get back into bed & return to my Netflix binge). I GET UP. I SMILE. I WHIP UP A STORM IN THE KITCH & I NOURISH MY BODY, BOTH MENTALLY & PHYSICALLY). THESE ARE THE DAYS WHEN I SHOW ANOREXIA WHO’S BOSS (& QUITE FRANKLY, I DON’T CAARE HOW MUCH I PISS HER OFF). In other words, mes amours, THE BAD DAYS & THE FEELINGS THAT COME WITH THEN PASS (I guarantee that they do. I speak from FIRST-HAND EXPERIENCE). The next morning, I wake up & I feel completely fine, HECK, I FEEL AMAZING & STRONG A-F (Yep, even at 5:00AM when my alarm goes off & when I start my meal prepping for the day. In my defence, I’ve always been a morning person…).
What I also know for certain is that as the days go by, the bad days become less frequent & the good (NO, THE AMAZING) ones become the norm. MY LOVES, THIS IS NOT A COINCIDENCE & IS NOT THE PRODUCT OF PURE LUCK (Oh, how I wish it was…) – it’s because I CHOOSE RECOVERY, BUT MOST OF ALL, BECAUSE I CHOOSE LIFE (P.S. Life is so freaking beautiful, man), EVERY SINGLE SECOND OF EVERY SINGLE DAY. (I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again, nobody & I mean, NOBODY, knows what it feels like to be faced with death. To look death RIGHT IN HER UGLY EYES & tell her she isn’t going to win & I genuinely pray that NOBODY ever has to be faced with such a horrible reality, BUT I ALSO WISH SO BAD that I could stop being judged for CHOOSING TO MAKE MYSELF & MOST OF ALL, LIVING, MY PRIORITY).
THE CRUCIAL LESSON I’ve learned & realized from THE BAD DAYS is that bad days do not mean that I will have a bad life. One bad day where it seems like the anxiety will take over & regain control will NOT lead to a failed recovery. I MUST EMBRACE THE BAD DAYS – NO, NOT BECAUSE THEY ARE FUN – BUT BECAUSE THEY ARE CHALLENGING & MOST OF ALL, BECAUSE THEY ARE REMINDERS THAT I MADE THE BEST DECISION OF MY LIFE IN CHOOSING RECOVERY & ALTHOUGH THE FIGHT ISN’T OVER, I AM FIGHTING IT & CONQUERING IT LIKE A FREAKING WARRIOR EVERY SINGLE DAY. I AM HAPPY NOW. I refuse to let the poison that is anorexia take me back to a time when I was THE COMPLETE & TOTAL OPPOSITE OF THAT. I deserve to laugh. To smile. To feel good. & MOST OF ALL, TO EAT!!! And so, if there is one thing you can retain from this post (No, I mean, this paragraph), it’s DON’T LET ANYBODY TAKE YOUR HAPPINESS AWAY (You’ve been robbed of way too much throughout your battle with anorexia). It is yours & nobody else’s. You are worthy of love & belonging. Look beyond your fears & self-doubt. OPEN YOUR HEART.
ALL THIS TO SAY, it is PERFECTLY-TOTALLY-POSITIVELY-OKAY to have bad days. Bad weeks, even. You do not have to be “on” all the time (Unfortunately, as you all now know, eating & anxiety disorders often do develop in people with those perfectionism tendencies). YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BE THE PICTURE-PERFECT IMAGE OF RECOVERY, SMILING EVERY SINGLE SECOND OF EVERY SINGLE DAY. YOU ARE ALLOWED TO FALL APART. TO FEELWEAK. TO HATE HOW YOU LOOK. TO FALL DOWN & YOU DON’T ALWAYS HAVE TO GET BACK UP INSTANTLY. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BE SO HARD ON YOURSELF. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BE PERFECT (For me, these have been the two HARDEST things to teach myself. It takes mind work, so much mind work. You have no idea. But I am SO GETTING THERE MY LOVES!). Take a second & breathe (In fact, be thankful that you are BREATHING today. Guys… at my lowest point, I legit did not know if I would make it out alive, so I’ve learned to appreciate the little things. Yep, even breathing).
What matters is that I AM ALIVE. MY HEART IS BEATING. I AM BREATHING. I MADE IT THROUGH THE FIRE, THE TORNADO, THE HURRICANE, THE TSUNAMI (& every other natural disaster). I think of the good days. The days when I love my body & I remind myself of the reasons I love myself. AND, MY LOVES, I HOLD ON TO THOSE THOUGHTS & THEY ARE WHAT DRIVE ME TO PUSH THROUGH (& I am proud to BRAG, I mean… SAY that, up until today, I HAVE MANAGED TO OVERCOME EVERY SINGLE BAD DAY LIKE A BOSS LADY!!!!). THEM BAD DAYS AIN’T GOT NOTHING ON ME. I’ve learned that life’s greatest lessons are learned at the worst times & from the biggest setbacks. I am CAPABLE OF HANDLING THE DIFFICULT SITUATIONS & OVERCOMING ADVERSITY.
So my loves, for anybody going through the same or similar issues, if today you are reading this (I know, it was long, I’m sorry!!! Hope you still love me J) & it’s a GOOD DAY, MAZALZ (Or, CONGRATZ!). I AM BEYOD PROUD OF YOU. MY HEART IS LEGIT HAPPY FOR YOU. <3 BUT, if you’re reading this & it’s a BAD DAY, please know that I AM HERE FOR YOU & THAT I’VE BEEN THERE. YOU ARE NOT ALONE & YOU NEVER WILL BE. THIS TO SHALL PASS. This expression has become a cliché BECAUSE IT IS TRUE MY LOVES. Even the darkest night will eventually end & the sun will rise. SOMETIMES THINGS HAVE TO GO VERY WRONG BEFORE THEY CAN GO RIGHT (Like that moment where it felt like time literally stopped, when my therapist looked my husband & I in the eyes and told him there was a very high chance that he would walk in from work one day & find me DEAD from a HEAART ATACK on my LIVING ROOM FLOOR). You, of all people, have lived through a hundred, two hundred, three-hundred, even years of days like this one. It feels like the pain will never go away, I know. You feel sad. Alone. Insecure. BUT, IT WILL PASS. I PROMISE.
Just keep choosing to fight & to be strong. KNOW THAT YOUR STRUGGLE IS PART OF YOUR STORY AND THAT STORMS DO NOT LAST FOREVER (Thank goodness, ’cause I’d die. No pun intended). And most importantly, KEEP CHOOSING RECOVERY. You will be forever thankful & EVERY TIME YOU FALL & GET BACK UP, THE MOST REWARDING FEELING IN THE WORLD WILL TAKE OVER YOUR MIND & YOUR BODY, and in that moment in time, everything will become perfectly clear & you will REMEMBER (Not to mention, pat yourself on the shoulder incessantly) WHY YOU CHOSE RECOVERY IN THE FIRST PLACE. REMEMBER. HOLD ON TO THIS MEMORY & BREATHE. YOU’RE ALMOST THERE BABY! I love you <3.