One thing about eating disorder recovery I have noticed is that I can and I have aimed to do recovery action all in one go- eat freely, rest like a sloth all day, feel fine about gaining weight and as a result heal my brain and body.
This is the ideal!
If I could have done that ‘all in’ from day one then wow.. amazing!
But the reality of an eating disorder, which doesn’t suddenly decide that it’s going to slope out the back door without a long and explosive finale is that the process of recovery is more complicated than this!
In reality, my aiming for an ‘all in’ approach has resulted in an unintentional recovery staircase with step by step levels of progress.
Aiming for full on recovery leads me to step up my action to a new level – eat and rest more, start to gain weight…
And when I get to this new level, I get a victorious and exhilarated feeling – I feel great and powerful, I feel that the illness has taken a bashing!
And I will stop there a while, on this new level, feeling like this is it -this is recovery!
I will enjoy the view from this new step and catch my breath from the monumental effort it took to get here.
But then, after a while of being at this level, I start to notice the next level – a step further, the foods or eating situations that are still out there untouched, untested… The experiences that remain out my comfort zone that I haven’t yet challenged.
And, I start to feel dissatisfied at where I am now and the misery grows as I realise that it was hard to get this far – but look.. there is yet further to go!
The urge to keep going gets stronger but with the certain knowledge that to get there will take more energy, exhaustion, anxiety, tears and even more pain.
However, when you are mid staircase and can see brighter things above, no matter how hard it is to climb, the temptation to keep going grows.
This is where I feel I am at at the moment.
I have made efforts to get to a good recovery level, but I can see the next step beckoning and it is now a case of processing a plan to climb up to it and putting it into action!
Which I will, because I know there is really no other way and that the view will be worth it when I am there!