Imagine this ~ You are standing at the starting line (eating disorder) and in the distance you see the finish (recovery). So you start your journey toward recovery. First it is just a slow walk, carefully watching each step you take. Slowly as you gain confidence, you begin to pick up speed. It all seems to be going smoothly but TED is like a rubber band around your waist. As you walk away from him, his hold on you begins to diminish as the rubber band stretches. Then, we you least expect it, SNAP! I am standing back at the at the start, crying, feeling defeated and wondering if I have the strength to try again. My fear is that I will not.
There are very many things in life that we surround ourselves with to make us feel comfortable. Most importantly, this is different for every person. For me, my security blanket is TED. He is what I turn to when I am scared, when I feel lonely, and more importantly, when I do not feel worthy. He is familiar. I know what each day brings when I am with TED. Good, bad or indifferent, it is a routine. But what TED taught me most is that I could not survive in the real world without him. Could TED actually be right that others will look down on me because I am not perfect? And to this day, I am scared to let him go. I am terrified of change.
Just the word “recovery” makes me shutter. Recovery is something new and different every day. I need a routine that is consistent. I avoid even good change because it’s change! TED is predictable. I know what to say and do when chatting with TED. But for me TED is not a habit, but habitual. I cannot go through my morning without getting on and off the scale, just making sure the number is right. Oh yeah, and hoping off early if it felt like it was going to be too high. But then sheepishly climbing back on the scale pleading for a “good” number. Shopping is another story – I cannot go through the store without automatically flipping a box around to check calories and fat. Anything over 100 calories or 2 grams of fat immediately returns to the shelf and not into my cart.
TED is my hell, but I do not mind because it is a familiar hell. I understand it and I have learned how to cope with it. But the key to my recovery is finding a bigger rubber band and trying again. I know that eventually I can find one that will get me close enough to where someone standing at the finish (and you know who you are) can reach my hand and pull. When I started this journey I said “All I needed was a little push” and I am realizing now that I am going to need a pull too! Love all my pullers in my life.