Choosing Recovery

Recovery is a beast, and some days it’s a beast we run away from. Though the decision to continue onward with recovery must always be made in order for progress to occur, even if that decision needs to be made multiple times a day. Is that decision easy? It never is. But what about someone who is struggling to take that step for the first time? Struggling to do what they need to do? Struggling to move from talking about recovery to actually doing recovery?

Many individuals with eating disorders might say something along the lines of “I’m waiting for the right time” “After this semester/season/holiday” “I’m not sick enough to begin recovery just yet” “I want to stay where I am for now” the truth is. There is never a perfect or ideal time for recovery and if you believe you may not need it or desire to remain stagnant then—most likely—you probably need it a lot more than you can practically perceive. I feel Mark Victor Hansen sums up this tid-bit of knowledge quite beautifully:

“Don’t wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.” –Mark Victor Hansen

For me, actually taking that ‘leap of faith’ into recovery arose from the growing discontent I was experiencing with my eating disorder. I gradually began to grow more and more frustrated regarding all of the things that my eating disorder has taken away from me. I gradually grew weary of Ed’s impossible demands and rules; I knew I needed to do something different. And that ‘something different’ I knew was…wait for it…recovery. Discontent, I feel is the first step toward change. After all, why change something when you are content with it? It wasn’t until I evaluated what I currently want to achieve in my life and career that I realized I had a choice to make. I figured out that, as long as I lived with my eating disorder, I would not be able to achieve hardly any of the things I want to accomplish. This mini-revelation—I call it—was when I really felt the motivation to genuinely choose recovery. Was I and am I scared? Oh yeah. Do I slip up? You bet. Do I absolutely hate how uncomfortable recovery feels…yeah. Do I know when I will feel better…no. What do I know? I know that my treatment team knows what they are doing (despite my Ed trying to convince me otherwise) and will help me each step of the way. I know that my husband loves me sad, mad, bloated, scared, sleepy and crazy. I know that my support team is always happy to help in whatever ways they can and I know that I want to know what life is like without an eating disorder. Also, and most importantly, I want to know who I am without an eating disorder.

“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, “I will try again tomorrow.” –Mary Ann Radmacher

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