Over the last six weeks, my business has overwhelmed my life. I have given up so many things that are important to me during this time. I had to stop seeing my Eating Disorder counselor. I have stopped blogging. I have stopped posting on Facebook and Twitter. I have not opened a school book since July. I have failed as a friend in that I have not been able to return phone calls, emails, or texts. For those of you affected by my absence, I truly apologize for my disconnect.
But what I have learned over the last six weeks will make this disconnect worth it, especially for me.
Over the last nine months, I have been looking for a way to get through recovery. I felt that every day needed to be planned – what to eat, how to exercise and what to think. I even went so far as wanting to find a book and even contemplated writing one (365-Day Plan To Recovery). Regimenting my life was my idea of progressing through my illness. The problem is that life is not regimented. There are curveballs being thrown at you every day and how you handle them is the true progress.
What I had not realized is that I had the ability to choose recovery the entire time. Instead I chose the eating disorder. I allowed the scale to dictate the day I was going to have and what I would eat. I was picking food not by what I wanted, but what I was allowed and more importantly not allowed to have. I allowed my negative body image to ruin the joy I should have been experiencing in my life.
All of this changed one morning. LIFE slapped me in the face. Words like “BULLYING” and “SUICIDE” were being used. I had been slapped by Life before, but this time I must have been at a place in my life where I could truly see/hear the message. I was ANGRY. Bullying is so unfair. Yet, I had chosen to do it to myself for 30 years. How can I be angry at others for doing something that I was so good at doing to myself. I even condoned the behavior. Until this day, I never looked at it as bullying but now I had no choice but to call it what it was.
That day changed my life! I no longer felt the importance of my eating disorder. I did not think about weighing myself every second of the day. I began to take ownership of my actions. I looked in the mirror for the first time that morning and saw a little girl who had been so bullied by me that she opted for solitude as her best chance of survival. She was scared and insecure. She was tormented by the one person who was supposed to take care of her….ME! At that moment, I looked her in the eyes and promised her NO MORE! I would no longer bully her into solitude. She would never again be scared to have a voice.
I know that I will always have an eating disorder. But, I now know that I control how/when it will affect me. Yes, I will still look at calories and food labels. Yes, I will still look in the mirror and not be completely thrilled with what I see. I cannot change the way I have thought for 30 years in one day, one year or maybe even in my lifetime. I started this journey through my recovery looking to receive the “RECOVERED” stamp on my forehead by my counselor and I was very disappointed when I left her office again without it. But that day while staring in the mirror what I also saw was that I was carrying that stamp in my own hand and all I needed to do was believe.
I am happy to say I AM A BELIEVER!