The Truth About Eating Disorder Recovery & Slip-Ups
Truth is, in recovery, YOU WILL SLIP UP.
There’s no denying it, sugar coating it or hiding it. It’s not because you restored your weight &/or found ways to cope with negative thoughts, that your eating disorder never comes back to creep up on you, that you don’t feel urges to engage in restrictive behaviours, isolate yourself & repress the way you feel. I’m sorry if I sound harsh, but I am just being honest & exposing MY reality to you.
Recovery isn’t a one time thing or a flip switch. It’s a constant test of will & endurance. It takes a constant effort of pedalling forward, eating enough to sustain bodily needs, facing fear foods, choosing to love yourself everyday, being open about your feelings, coping with triggers, overcoming anxiety & pursuing health.
I’ll be completely honest, I’ve been feeling urges to slip up up a little more than usual lately. I’ve been tempted to restrict, skip a snack, not finish a meal, give in to self-destructive thoughts, weigh myself & do everything my eating disorder wants me to do.
It’s hard because I was doing SO WELL for SO LONG & it almost feels like a slap in the face. I find myself wondering “WHY NOW?”. Truth is, there’s answer to that question: slip ups happen a month, three months, six months & yes, even almost a year into recovery (even if you’re the strongest in your recovery).
The worst part is that they come on when you least expect it, when you’re so far gone from the days where your eating disorder dominated every thought & move that you don’t recognize the person you once were cause of it. That’s what makes them even harder. They take you back to the dark place of “I failed” & “I’m weak” & distance you from the “I’m stronger than my eating disorder” mind-frame. You feel disappointed, ashamed & disgusted & like everything you worked for is thrown away.
I’ve been fighting with myself really hard to ensure that the perfectionism demon that was central to my eating disorder doesn’t sneak its way back into my brain because THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS “PERFECT RECOVERY”.
Recovery isn’t all sunshine & rainbows. There are really rainy & stormy days too. And while those days are harder than others, they’re also a great way to remind myself that I don’t want to go back to a life where EVERY DAY feels that way. Sometimes, we need to relive a bad memory to know that we don’t want it to become a permanent part of our lives again.
Slip-ups will happen but they don’t define my recovery nor do they discredit how far I have come. They test my determination & they push me to work harder at the constant battle that is CONTINUING TO CHOOSE RECOVERY. I’m doing the best I can & some days, I need to be conscious of the fact that my eating disorder will find its way back into my mind.
The most important thing for me to focus on at the moment is to FORGIVE MYSELF & not dwell in that head space of self-hatred, guilt or shame. I’m not a failure or weak for slipping up. I’m just not perfect. AND THAT’S OKAY.
Today & everyday forward, I will choose to love myself enough to forgive myself for a slip up, recommit to my recovery & move on. I didn’t get this far to let a slip-up take it all away from me or make me doubt my worth, progress or my destination.
I know, I don’t have to go on huge rants like this about how I feel lately but I do it because I CHOOSE TO & because my purpose is to share with you MY JOURNEY (& some days, it’s a little bumpier than others).