A light-bulb moment?
Yesterday, I explained, in my post, More About Me!, that turning 40 this year was part of the wake up call I needed to take meaningful action against the eating disorder that had plagued my life for well over a decade.
But with an eating disorder we often wait for a light bulb moment… a magic switch that will suddenly make recovery simple.
I didn’t want to give the impression this happened for me.
There was no light bulb, just a slow realisation that it was now or never.
It was more than 10 years worth of miserable eating disordered existence, trying to get free & learning from mistakes.
It was countless fresh starts & recovery attempts but in which the eating disorder still took control -eating more but with restriction, weight restoring while exercising, keeping isolated.
I’d moved homes & jobs, trying to leave the eating disorder behind, but it always followed.
It was a slow awakening to see all the life going on around me that I wasn’t capable of living.
I had a gradual appreciation that will power & knowing about recovery wasn’t enough- only full on action would ever give me half a chance & if not now then when?
I knew life couldn’t get much worse than now. Was this rock bottom?
Who knows. But I don’t think we need to let ourselves get that low to find a way out.
To get to the point of starting this recovery has been a 10 year process, learning from each ‘fresh start’ & why they ‘failed’.
There was no lightbulb – perhaps more a dimmer switch that very slowly got brighter & I knew I had to do what I’d never truly done, although I’d convinced myself I had. That was learn to fully let go of the illness & face up to every fear of food, resting & weight gain in a non controlled way.
I had to make myself more vulnerable than I ever have & sacrifice my independence & feelings of adult self-worth to ask for & accept help.
I’d waited too long for a light bulb moment that would make recovery easy… it wasn’t coming & the only time to start to get better was now.
But it is so hard and some days I wonder why I started but then I get a flashback to a moment in the illness when I was driving myself to walk, cold, hungry & alone on a dark Christmas evening, too deep in the eating disorder to be with family, to sit, to eat, to be warm & I shudder at living that life again and I remember why I’m doing this.