One year ago today, I sat in my therapist’s office & I was given the ultimatum that I didn’t know would save my life: to commit to recovery, accept to follow a rigid meal plan from the comfort of my home & be followed by a treatment team on a weekly basis OR be admitted to an inpatient eating disorder facility & receive 24/7 care & surveillance.
I undoubtedly chose the first option but I didn’t do so without a doubt in my mind. I painstakingly said I’d commit to my recovery but truth be told, I didn’t know if I’d be able to do it all on my own. I feared it would be too difficult on me both mentally & physically.
I looked at the meal plan & a lump formed in my throat at the quantity & type of food I had to start eating from one day to the next. I thought about how even doing house chores & going grocery shopping were activities I’d have to limit to prevent calorie expenditure & it seriously made me question how I’d be comfortable just relaxing & doing nothing. But I chose option one nonetheless.
I couldn’t fathom the idea of living with so many other people going through the same thing that I was & having the same thought processes. Living in a public health institution also meant I had to relive the trauma I lived years ago as we stood & slept by my mom’s side while she was sick. I just couldn’t do it.
So I accepted the challenge. I took the harder way out. The road less traveled. I knew it wouldn’t be easy but I embarked on the journey anyway.
And here I am today, a year later. Alive. I’m still recovering. Everyday. I’m still fighting my own battles. Everyday. But I’m fighting & recovering with a stronger mind than one year ago, a fuller & healthier body, a wiser mind, a more educated person, a woman who values health & life more than anything in the world, a woman with a fresh perspective on life, who searches only for positivity. A woman who knows the true meaning behind having no choice & losing control over her mind & fighting so hard to get it back that it hurts.
I’ve been having a rough few weeks but today is a milestone nonetheless. I stayed true to that commitment I took on. I kept my word. I honoured my promise. Not without slips & falls, forks in the road, almost relapses, triggers, anxiety attacks, “scared for my life” moments, doubts & questioning my worth.
One year anniversaries don’t mean that the time passed was seamless or that it was the best year of our lives. But what they do mean is that 365 days, 52 weeks & 12 months went by. And I woke up every single one of those days, weeks & months and I ACTIVELY CHOSE RECOVERY.
I woke up everyday with a beating heart & while some of those days, I felt like just caving & giving in, I didn’t do it. I didn’t do it because I know what the alternative entails. I know what it’s like to live but not be living. I know what it felt like to sit in my therapist’s office just one short year ago & being told I was a ticking time bomb.
Life is short. It’s too precious to accept that my days are numbered when I have the strength to do the opposite, even if the opposite is harder. Even if the opposite means I need to fight. Even if the opposite means I’ll be on this journey for life.
Because that’s what this journey has given me: