I’ve done a lot of singing and dancing about my recovery. I’ve explained the hardships and the triumphs, both large and small. What I have neglected to discuss is the idea that there is nothing wrong with not being OK with it.
What exactly do I mean?
A few days ago I was taken to the doctors to be weighed. I discussed this meeting when discussing my distaste for the DSM’s criteria, regardless of it I understand the reasons behind it. While there, I was weighed. I had gained a total of five pounds. This is good right? This should be something that I am happy about, isn’t it?
The moment I looked at the scale, noticing that the weight indicator was resting beyond the line of ‘120’, I felt a pang of fear. Immediately following, my doctor said, ‘123’. Immediately I turned to my mother, emotionless and said, ‘I gained five’. She smiled, he smiled… I smirked. I was not happy. In fact, I felt like a failure. It was not even two seconds before I realized that this feeling of fear was ridiculous. Currently my goal was to reach 130lbs, so the grin upon my face should have been comparable to theirs. Yet, it was not.
I sat back down at his desk: a third of me listening to the doctor, a third of me feeling gross for having gained weight and a third of me feeling ashamed for feeling gross for having gained weight.
Say that ten times fast.
After getting home, my initial thought was: alright, time to stop eating so much.
That’s when it hit me.
So I ate a big meal.
– – –
This post is not about those emotions, though; this post regards the emotions that follow.
After feeling the ways mentioned, I began to feel even worse. Even more so like a failure. As if each moment I took a step forward, I let myself fall two, or even three steps back. Internally, I felt – again, and even furthermore – life a failure. I beat myself up on the inside, allowing myself to feel as if I was ‘weak’ or ‘unable’.
And that’s what it hit me… again…
(Just going to say here, my ‘light-bulb’ record that day was off the charts; definitely reached my quota)
During your time of recovery, rather it be from something like an ED, gambling, alcoholism… or even physical trauma, having moments where you’re mentally or physically fall back do not make you weak. They make you human. Alternatively the power it takes to pull yourself out of those moments does make you strong.
In life we are always going to have slips. Always. Escaping them is entirely impossible. We wake up every morning in our lives and tell ourselves a series of things within the first sixty seconds of rising. OK, you’re probably thinking that this only thing you tell yourself in the first few seconds of rising is, ‘if I don’t get to the bathroom soon, uh’ohs are going to happen’. I do not mean we literally tell ourselves this stuff, but that we have this predisposed list of expediencies of ourselves, which we apply to ourselves each day. During my time of my ED, my list included things like:
don’t go over your carbs
watch out for fats, girl
don’t sit for too long
protein x 23029382 because it burns fat!
starchy carbs after three and you’ll be chubbby!
So rationally speaking, having those things constantly swimming around my subconscious for so long, to fall back during recovery seems almost like a given. I am not about to say, ‘we need to fall down to get back up’ because I feel like that’s a bit too much a cliche. But you do really need to let yourself go at your own speed. Allow yourself to fall, just always remember to pick yourself up. If you have a slip one day, no matter how large, do not punish yourself. Remind yourself that you are getting better, that you are strong and that one day, this will be nothing more than a vague memory.