Wednesday, 4 December 2013

You are recovered

I heard those words today.

"Heather, I think you and I both know that you are recovered".

I never really thought of it this way until now. I never really thought that one could be recovered but still in recovery. In a sense, what I believe is meant here is the fact that there is little to no chance of a relapse, slipping back, detroying myself again. I mean, even through the bad days (like Monday, for instance) where I regret every bite I take, want to weigh myself or restrict, I still find a way to power through and make it to tomorrow. I know that there are always chances for some sort of tragedy to happen in life that could cause some maintaining recovery worries, but we are all vulnerable to tragedy, and that's OK.

To me, recovered does not mean that I am not still in recovery. It doesn't mean that I don't have far to go, that I have to become OK with me again, OK with a lot of food again, OK with giving myself the permission to have a drink too many, or over indulge (especially during the holidays). It does not mean that I don't have to stay mindful of which is my voice and which is ED's. It does not mean I have to continue to challenge the food police, continue to switch things up, continue to keep myself in a vulnerable position so that I may grow and become the person I need to and desperately want to be. Recovered, to me, means wanting to be social and acting on it, it means knowing what disordered thoughts are and recognizing them as such. It's about having a healthy relationship with exercise, it's about having a healthy relationship with and accepting myself for who I am. I have a few issues with that last part. It's something I'm working on. And I know that myself and almost every other woman on this planet (especially within our Western ideal) has issues with body image at some point in time (I actually read a great, but disturbing article on just how much women worry about their bodies), but I would argue that someone suffering from a mental illness such as anorexia  (or body dismorphic disorder, or bulimia, or an array of other illnesses) has a bit of a heightened sensitivity when it comes to body image. Essentially what I'm working on is channeling my inner Jennifer Lawrance and continuing to kick ass. I know we can't love our bodies 100% of the time, but acceptance a majority of the time would be nice.

I need to keep on it. I am worthy of love. I am entitled to have fun at family functions. I am entitled to eat socially. I am entitled to treats. I am entitled  to buy myself a new outfit because it flatters my growing body. I am entitled to happiness. I am entitled to feeling pretty, or sexy, or hot, or whatever. I am entitled to spend this Saturday with my mother making Christmas center pieces and then going out for drinks, dinner and dessert! I am entitled to our upcoming Christmas parties. I am entitled to the holiday season. 

I am entitled.
and so are you.

Trust me, I'm terrified to continue on the path I've been taking. I chose recovery and I have fought too hard to let myself slip in any way, shape, or form. Body shame sucks, the media has failed us, we have failed ourselves and one another, and we're paying for it.

It's about letting go.
It's easier said than done, but it's not impossible. 
Difficult does not mean impossible.


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