I have been in recovery for almost five years but there are still times when I look back on my disordered time and wonder why I chose recovery. I’m not gonna lie and say that every day I am thankful that I recovered. I’m not gonna lie and say that it’s been fun. I’m not gonna lie and say that it’s been easy. It hasn’t been. Not one bit.
I used my disorder to hide my anxiety and my depression. With it I was able to go out into the world and act like everything was ok. I was able to put on a smile and talk with my friends. The only negative emotions they thought I had were the ones toward the divorce my parents were going through. I was able to hang out with friends without being petrified to do so. I was able to go on dates with the Actor and have fun. Believe it or not but I was able to actually eat when we went out and be all right because when I went home I knew I could skip more meals and exercise more. I used my disorder to help me cope with life and my low self esteem. It was a coping mechanism and a punishment. A punishment for not being enough, for never being enough. A punishment for having wants and desires which make me selfish. A punishment for wanting love that I don’t deserve. My disorder was my best friend and my worst enemy.
I know that it wasn’t great. I remember the daily scale dance. I remember. But to be completely honest I was not obsessed completely with it until after I was diagnosed. I know that it wasn’t fun but I didn’t let Ana hover over me 24/7 until after I was diagnosed. Before that we were close friends who put me in my place when I needed it.
Recovery challenged not only her but me as well. Because facing recovery meant looking at everything that I hate about myself and trying to work through it. I have had to face everything and try to accept it or realize that that was a lie I have been telling myself for years. Maybe I do deserve love. Maybe having wants and desires and needs doesn’t make me selfish and terrible. Maybe I have some worth as a person. And that’s why I look back and think that I was better then than I am now. But I know that’s a lie too. Obviously I still have a disordered mindset. When I was in therapy this year before my therapist left I left every session realizing another thing I had been thinking about myself all my life that was possibly not true. I didn’t have anxiety like I do now when I had my disorder. I really did trade one for the other. Because my disorder was hiding the anxiety; it was keeping it in check, whether or not that was healthy.
I am still eating. I think that at this point in my recovery I’m not in a place where I’ll start to starve myself again. It is true that there are times when I forget to eat, or get so wrapped up a project or TV show that I feel hungry but don’t want to move because I don’t want to break my attention, not because I genuinely don’t want to eat. I know I can probably never go back to my old ways, whether I want to or not, because I know too much now and I respect my body more now than I did then. So this struggle is purely internal.