Recovery, The Process
Many of you know my story.
Today, it appears I am “recovered.” I am at a healthy weight for my size, I eat normal meals and don’t have regular obsessive thoughts or behaviors. I do not allow myself to choose sickness.
But I think it’s important to know that, even though I’m doing “well” now, there were times I was not, and there will be times I do not in the future, too.
But actually, I say that I’m “in recovery.” It’s an active process that I think will never leave me. It’s perplexing, I know.
So: What does recovery really look like?
10 years later, I still find myself struggling. Because, I am a woman. Because life is unpredictable and sometimes trying. Because sometimes I catch myself giving in to negative energy. Because I know suffering and I also know happiness... and partial happiness leads to struggling, too. But most of all, I still struggle because I am human.
Recovery is real. And it takes work. And it's nothing to be ashamed about. In fact, I'm so proud about being in it!
It’s feeling like an awesome person, a beautiful person, and also selfish, uncomfortable in my skin, and not attractive… in the same week. Maybe even in the same day.
My recovery doesn't look like yours, so don't compare it. It doesn't have a certain look, and you can't tell someone's story without knowing every haunting detail of their past.
Recovery is two steps forward, one step back sometimes.
Sometimes recovery is months without a negative thought, and then you’re stopped in your tracks and shut down for a week.
Recovery is never talking about your disease. It’s also spreading the message that recovery is possible.
Recovery is hard. Recovery is a life-long endeavor.
Recovery is having negative thoughts, having that voice inside your head saying, “You’re not worth it,” and not acting on it, and not (always!) believing it.
It’s looking at yourself in the mirror, not liking what you see, but showing up anyway, however much discomfort you feel. It’s eating your meals. It’s being seen for all that you are, and all you don’t think you are yet.
It’s knowing there is a “yet” because you’re becoming.
Recovery is allowing certain people to see where you’ve been, where you want to go, and where you never want to go again. It’s showing them how to help you and what you need.
Recovery is not doing a darn thing because you know you need to slow down. It's also pushing yourself out of your comfort zone because it takes practice learning to be comfortable... or used to finding discomfort in being uncomfortable.
Healing, recovery, these things take time. It’s not always linear. In fact, I can’t tell you a single person that makes up their mind one day to stop doing all that self-destructive behavior, and then never thinks of it again.
In fact, recovery is, every single day, waking up and remembering what to do, what not to do, and why you’ve decided that.
Addiction, disease, mental setbacks- these things are blind.
Recovery is out there if you want to find it bad enough. Recovery isn’t given. It’s earned every minute of every day, with a choice.
The mind is so strong. Sometimes you don't recognize it as your own.
Recovery is taking that step and realizing you can’t trust everything you tell yourself. It’s, instead, treating yourself as a good friend. It’s patience and stubbornness to try (do!) again.
What are you telling yourself today? I hope they are healing thoughts.
Please share with someone who needs this. And send me a message on how this makes you feel about your, or someone you know's, recovery.