I remember thinking, when I was being referred to therapy, what recovery would be like. In my head, it was a short and eventful road, with a lot of encouraging words. I clearly thought that it was pretty significant when you did recover. In my head, I thought of it as a final therapy session, where through tear brimmed eyes you say farewell to the people who helped your difficult and life changing struggle, you were given continuous ‘congrats!’ And ‘you have done so unbelievably well!’ Or as a celebration where everybody cheers as you have a second slice of cake, talking about how proud they are. Now I find the idea of recovery is a difficult one to grasp. I want recover, but I don’t want to be left without the anorexia. It sounds so weird, but I can’t see a life without it. I struggle to think about next weeks therapy session, let alone next years. I have relapsed, recovered, relapsed in a constant and unreasonable cycle. After all of this, people congratulating an upwards curve, but then looking with dissapointment at the freshly gaunt face and lower weight, I am at a point where I no longer know how possible recovery is. Is it even real? All the talk of ‘never recovering’ and having to deal with these anorexic voices for the continuing span of your life, it fills your head with a lot of doubt and before you know it, you forget about recovery. You start to doubt it’s existence.
I think every single person relapses. Even if you have the speediest and fastest recovery, I still think you will relapse. Even if it is just for a week, or a year. It could be a week or two after a good stretch, or perhaps in years ahead, when it appears out if the blue while you’re out walking your dog. So then, surely, you can never recover? This is it. This is your life.
Not exactly. I never said I think every single person relapses and struggles. I never said it sets them back, or they get thrown back to where they started years ago. I think Recovery, is not what everybody thinks. I think that recovery is not actually that significant, and it isn’t like you would assume. But I think it exists. I think you find it in the unexpected pieces of life. Like when you look around and see you’re on a train, surrounded by strangers, and not constantly having to check for the nearest exit, in case any danger should occur. In the way your able to leave a box unticked, or walk your niece to school. It isn’t the big thing everybody seems to think.
When have I recovered? I think, truly, I have recovered when voices in my head are quieter than my intelligence and rational beliefs.
As always stay safe and strong,