I’ve become more distant to this blog and my connection to identifying so thoroughly as a recovery advocate more recently, not because recovery is not on the forefront of my mind- let’s be honest, I still live in transitional care and hear the words “eating disorder” more times in an hour than I can count, but because I’ve felt more hypocritical. For the past month or so, though everything I’ve written is true, my weight has fluctuated between the lower end of my maintenance range and the upper end of unhealthy for me. The meal plan that had worked for me for a long time, stopped working, and increasing my food has been challenging. I guess I couldn’t find a shiny way to put that.
When it comes down to it, the facts are not so shiny. There is no such thing as “sort of better”. I’ve learned that through many trials where I’ve tried to hold on to just a little of my eating disorder and failed miserably. As much as balanced relationships, happiness, structure, flexibility, work ethic, etc. are hugely significant to recovery, if a person is not maintaining their weight and eating all of the food that they need to do so (sometimes that is more than what might feel ‘normal’ or ‘necessary’), there is absolutely no chance of being free. In other words, I can acro-yoga till I’m blue in the face, but if I can’t be solid with my new food, I will forever be seeking these shiny things to escape my mind instead of integrating them into my life.
With this truth landing dully in my lap and my perfectionistic, black-and-white tendencies seeing the failure in my reality, I was blind to the middle-grounded silver lining. This is recovery. I have always known recovery had ups and downs and I’ve never wanted that to be true for me. Each time I’ve struggled with my actions, I’ve denied it so thoroughly that the only way I could pick myself up was to switch treatment teams and try to start fresh. This has been different. Yes, I still may feel like I either need to run now or I need to throw up my hands and give up, but I have stayed. I have told the truth. My successes have still been true. And I am working through this rough patch one McFlurry at a time. I haven’t forfeited. I’m in this for the long-haul. I have to be, because I choose life. That’s pretty shiny.