Avoiding relapse when you are struggling with strong emotions is difficult. This week has been difficult. I am struggling with so many emotions and trying to stay motivated to keep going. I wanted to quit treatment this week. I wanted to give up fighting for the life that I know I deserve. My eating disorder wants me to believe I am useless and will never amount to anything. My eating disorder tells me the only way I will find freedom is in the porcelain god of the bathroom, or the downward spiral of the scale.
Meaning does not come from dysfunction. Meaning comes from overcoming dysfunction. I like to be validated for my efforts, but I am a private person and really who wants to congratulate you on doing the simple and ordinary task of feeding yourself. With this in mind, I must validate myself. Every time that I do not give in to the voice of my eating disorder, I am achieving victory.
Last night was a struggle. I wanted to give into the eating disorder and wreck myself. I wanted to drink a bottle of wine and stop thinking. I wanted freedom from the voice telling me that I was nothing.
Yet, I knew, as much as I tell my patients, that it would not make me feel any better. As the AA saying goes, “One is too many, a thousand is never enough.” If I had given in to my action urges, I would have berated myself either for doing it, or not doing it well enough. I would have thought that I had wasted all my hard work and continued my spiral of bad decisions. Black and white thinking at its best.
My favorite coffee mug has a quote by Liam Linisong. “A year from now, what will you wish you had done today?” I will wish that I had made the right decisions and stayed focused on my recovery. It is a daily process.
I ran across writings from about ten years ago last night; I was surprised at how much I had changed, how far I had come. I don’t want to give up. If it means that I have to seek a new purpose every day, then I shall do that. If it means that I have to argue with my eating disorder on reasons to stay healthy, then I will do that.
My eating disorder wants me to die. She came to me in a time of fear and self-loathing. She was to be my saving grace, but she made me sick. She made me loathe myself even more. She whispered hurtful words in my ears and pushed me to damage myself.
I never would have believed it, but I am a fighter. The fact that I am still alive means I still have purpose. There is no meaning in dysfunction, only in overcoming it. I want to keep going. I want to provide others with a hope that recovery is a possibility, but has to be taken one day at a time.
Keep looking for poetry. Ignore the eating disorder that measures your worth in pounds. I will never satisfy my eating disorder, but I can seek out satisfaction from a life worth living.
I will keep fighting.