If you are here now, reading recovery blogs online and you have an eating disorder then you are already a superhero because whether you have taken any other positive steps into recovery yet or not, you are obviously not just accepting life in the illness and at the very least, you are contemplating the terrifying path of recovery. I also suspect many people reading this have ventured a bit further from the start line than that too.
So, give yourself a huge pat on the back right now and do a sedentary dance of celebration!
You are not where you once were and you are further towards recovery than many who are still too sick and too entrenched in the illness to even begin to contemplate recovery action.
But the road to recovery is long, hard, messy and clunky. Along the way it can seem never ending and as if it is futile to keep going. Hope is too frequently lost as we can feel like we are treading water at best and working so incredibly hard but barely staying afloat.
At these times, it is worth reminding ourselves that others have walked this path before and made it out to the other side. And if they can do it, then why the heck shouldn’t we be able to as well? Recovery might take years but it can and will happen for us, as it has for them, if we stay committed.
Look to some of those you know who have recovered – there are the big names of course who speak out about their recoveries now and hold beacons of light to others but let us not allow our eating disorder brains to persuade us that they are the unicorns in this recovery game. Many who have recovered after years of having an eating disorder are too busy enjoying life to its fullest, moving away from the eating disorder world and grateful to just be ‘normal’ and so just because you do not know their names or they don’t make themselves widely known, it does not mean they are not out there.
Today though, it really is time to recognise how amazing you are to be here, fighting today, pushing for more, facing the very real fears.
I know that you feel you are going no where fast.
I know you are exhausted and frustrated.
I know that you want just one day off from the constant fight.
But every now and then, look back to where you have been – how ill you once were, all consumed by illness and recognise every bit of progress you have made, however tiny, because it all counts!
Then look forward…
That future of true freedom was discovered by those who have already been on this journey. Every journey to recovery is different BUT the outcome of a life free from compulsions, free from hunger and most wonderful of all, free to be alive in every sense is out there waiting for every last one of us, if we do this right.
And it is up to us to reach out and grab that future.
Through our action, through our determination and grit and by putting on our superhero pants and cape and going out there (or staying home for a while!) to grab hold of that future that represents true freedom and never let go!
…. and as a reminder, that involves being amazingly brave each day – resting, eating more than ever and trusting your body… and it definitely involves never giving up. Because if you don’t give up, recovery really is inevitable.