I am starting this blog to engage myself and others in the recovery process. My disease is anorexia, with a smidge of bipolar I and a little bit of PTSD… Add a sprinkle of panic disorder and a cup of OCD… That is my mezcla of diagnoses and my things to overcome.
Recovery is an every day process. It is not a straight path from problems to success. It’s more like a roller coaster with ups and downs and twists and turns and you puke halfway through the ride, ruining your favorite sweatshirt… Recovery is like that, only life long.
There are some who argue that you can be fully recovered. I wish that were true. I thought I was. Well, I had decided that I had everything under control and stopped the plan, thinking I didn’t need it anymore, because I was cured. Mental illness no longer had a hold, so I started pantsing life. I didn’t prepare. I didn’t care. I had convinced myself that I had it under control.
Funny thing about mental illness and any addictive behavior: you always think you have it under control until the one morning that you realize it’s controlling you.
I have been back in recovery for about eight months. I have fought that I will just be better when I lose a few pounds. I have argued that I don’t need to eat that much. The fact is, my arguing is getting in the way of recovery. My biggest argument is that I have too high of a BMI to be at risk. As so many people say, “I’m not like those other people who are sick. I’m different.”
We all say that. We are different, but our disease affects us the same. When I see my peers from treatment, I am immediately struck by the idea that they are still super thin and gorgeous and I am just in this category of not really sick. The truth is that I am sick. I have to accept that and it is something that I have to accept sometimes daily. Just because I don’t fit the image of one who is caught in the throes of anorexia, my body is still damaged by it.
I almost died last year. I knew it was only a matter of time. I was incredibly depressed and was ready to die. On reviewing my labs: I had prolonged QT (my heart could have stopped), I went through refeeding syndrome (It went undiagnosed until I actually started seeing a medical doctor about my health–I was in denial of lasting damage), I lost two percent bone mass, and my electrolytes are still trying to get in normal ranges.
I tell you these things not to say that I am sick, but to show that I am sick, despite looking well. I am an addictions therapist and I realized today that my recovery is not something for me to get through. It is something that has to be lived. I tell my patients this all the time, but I was caught in this idea that I can follow the plan until I am well and then do my own thing. I did that already and here I am again. It is time for me to own my recovery as what I want, not just what the doctor ordered.
My point of this blog is to focus on living life to the full (poetry), not measured by a scale (pounds).