Last night a strange thing happened in Recovery Nomadsland.
I’d spent the day restfully resting i.e proper relaxed resting rather than sitting tensely with my brain on a million things at once!
And as I restfully rested, exhaustion hit.
My body hurt, my head ached, I felt flulike without the fever and my brain was becoming less preoccupied with thoughts of food and a bit more preoccupied with thoughts of bed!
In the illness, the rigid control of my days extended to bedtimes too – I never allowed myself to go to bed earlier than the time that the eating disorder said.
So last night it was alien territory when all I could do was get my dinner and grab a snack so that I could go to bed and relent to my body screaming at me to sleep!
When restricting our diet and keeping our body on the go to super human levels, you would think tiredness and exhaustion would be a thing.
But a starved body needs to hunt so when sick I rarely felt tired, let alone exhausted.
Now my brain is learning that not only is food available in the environment, so hunger signals can be sent but the rest and healing can also finally occur.
My body is finally sending the signals it should have been sending for years.
Signals to say I am broken, I can’t go on, please let me rest and let me get better!
In previous recovery attempts I never experienced the exhaustion that others would describe but now I think I am and the reason I don’t think I ever got it before was because I never pushed my intake high enough.
It was high enough to weight restore but not enough to allow my body and brain to trust that I was no longer in a famine environment.
Now that I am eating high amounts, I think my brain is finally trusting that food is in abundance, there is no need to hunt and so it is safe to stop, rest, eat and heal. My urges to move are much less intense and my body now trusts enough to send signals of exhaustion it always wanted to send but could not afford to.
Like extreme hunger, I do believe extreme exhaustion is a gift from our body in recovery that can guide us all the way, if we are brave enough to listen and respond.
Our body wants to heal fast… that means it needs lots of food and lots of rest to do that… we need to take this gift and use it to beat the eating disorder out our lives!