“Telling a person with an eating disorder that they can’t leave their apartment for two weeks is like saying, ‘You have two weeks to indulge in all the behavior you haven’t exhibited since you were in recovery,’” said Ruthie Friedlander, Founder of the Chain.
I feel inexpressibly blessed to say that I strongly believe that I am nearing the very end of my “recovery” journey. Physically still experiencing some of the symptoms that come with it – recovery being drawn out if relapses, or even “mini lapses” occur – I am on guard about eating a lot – namely, at least three large meals and two snacks every day.
The evils of anorexia, the constant triggers, the lure of less… they’re all behind me. And I think some of the most tangible markers of real recovery are as follows:
- You actually WANT the wine, the dessert, the “extra calories” aka oil/sauces/etc. because you know they’re delicious, satiating, and heck, who doesn’t?
- You’re filling out and your weight is REDISTRIBUTING. If you’re still bloated 24/7 (a sure part of recovery) you’re probably not FULLY RECOVERED yet. Keep eating lots and lots of food, with zero restriction.
- You have regular periods!
Now, if you are reading this as someone in the thick of recovery, just beginning recovery, or feeling triggered in the midst of this quarantine, this post is for you.
I want to tell you how much I’ve been right where you are, Friend. Pretty girl who doesn’t know how beautiful she is. Who might be reading this and hating me because a voice in her head is saying that she shouldn’t trust someone who’s recovered.
I remember that voice.
I remember the voice that seemed like a sweet and caring one that told me that anyone who told me they were “recovered” should not be trusted. They had “forgotten” the “magic” of anorexia… they had “slipped away”…
If you’re thinking that, Friend, know that I understand. So deeply.
But know this MORE: I remember it. I remember how loud the voices were. And I KNOW, without a shadow of a doubt, that it’s So. Much. Better. Over. Here.
Because those voices are LIES.
Why would I ever want to live in tandem with a lie?
Let’s unpack together why these voices are lies.
- We know we need food to survive. And we need regular amounts of it to have energy, to exercise, to be present with people, to perform daily tasks… the lists goes on! Food is also pretty dang delicious.
- Food restriction is one of the most selfish “truths” I’ve ever heard of. It is all about me; it requires a great deal of fixation on food as it pertains to me; it leaves me weak, brain-fogged, and unwell.
When we unpack the lies in our minds and think about them in light of the Word of God, we can see the pride in our lives, and begin to understand where untruth has weaselled itself in.
This video is super helpful in discussing the food struggles and behaviour temptations you may be experiencing now, eating disorder background or not.
Know that you are not alone, but that you MUST take a stand in this time in saying, I will not let this disorder win. I will not live in submission to disordered thoughts.
If it helps, look at this quarantine time as the time you are FINALLY going to go all in with recovery. Maybe you’ve always wanted to try Minnie Maud recovery, but have never actually given it a fair, lengthy shot, so you’ve been stuck in quasi-recovery.
Or perhaps you have never started, and you’ve come across this post knowing that you need to recover, but you don’t know what that looks like, especially in the middle of a pandemic. Recovery can feel scary whether you’re living alone or with your partner, having kids or living with your parents. Your eating disorder will always give you reasons to say no to recovery, but you need to give it the hundreds of reasons you’re saying YES. Stop the lies, stop the control, and relinquish. I mean relinquish EVERYTHING.
To learn about how I did that – not by my own strength, because that would have been near impossible – head here.
If it all feels extra difficult right now, know that it will never be easy. You can’t afford to wait another second to give Jesus everything – and that means giving Him the idol that is your eating disorder. Trust Him. Go to Him, and find Him already next to you with open arms.