I am sitting here thinking about the posts I wrote a year ago, when I was actively trying to grasp health instead of culture’s standard of what is pretty, when I was comprehending what it meant to appreciate my body at 144 pounds; A time when I was cognizant of this life being my own and no one else’s.
At this point, one year later, I am pondering how I have moved closer to my ambitions of last October and how I have moved—just a little—further away.
I have learned a long time ago to appreciate each circumstance, each hurt, because none of it is useless. Of course, I begrudge the process of working through these times, but I have always walked out of them a little wiser and a little stronger. These are some of the things I have learned in the last year:
Nothing is black and white. For a long time I told everyone everything was fine and I told it so often I, almost, started believing it myself. When group therapies were brought up I always used work as an excuse to not participate in them; In reality I was denying myself help and, until, I broke down completely I didn’t think I deserved it. There was a lot of fear in a higher level of care because I always thought it would jeopardize my job. In the midst of going on reduced hours and leaving work through a four month period I was also named one of three employees of the year and given a role model evaluation. I cringed when I had to call my supervisor and tell her I was returning to work because I didn’t know what my reception would be; It was quite warm because people had missed me. I did not lose my job because I asked for help and I realized it’s a strength leaning on others. I asked for, and removed myself, for help and I kept my job; life isn’t either or.
I have grown closer to my sister. Before I was hospitalized there was no communication between us. Our relationship was based on visits every few weeks and a phone call with little substance, she didn't even know where I lived. Through the process of mandatory therapy we explored some of what caused these blocks. I see her far more frequently than I ever have and we are building our relationship. She's also someone I cannot fool when I am in my eating disorder. Sometimes I (my eating disorder) want to strangle her because she makes me eat.
I am letting go of blame and fault that is not meant to go on my shoulders. It's easier to hold all of the blame to yourself; when the blame is held close the ability to be around the one at fault remains possible and there's a sense of control. But not reconciling the fault with the 'offender' keeps the pain real and fresh. I am closer to letting go of my father by working through this process. My dad committed suicide when I was a child. I couldn't take in the fact my dad would leave me so it had to be my fault he left. Everytime something happened that my dad could not protect me from became my fault. This though pattern became so ingrained I have yet to completely shed it's weight.
I am surrounded by people that support me, that understand my struggle, and are walking beside me as I heal. Sometimes in your lowest times you meet the people that come to be closest to your heart. The hospital stay gave to me dear friends, a treatment team of excellent, caring, individuals, and a foothold back into life.
Today, at this moment, I am thinking of the ways my eating disorder can help accomplish all I want to do. And I am able to actually stop and realize the eating disorder thought process because, in the long run, the eating disorder will only take what I want away from me.