I’ve always thought that as long as I’m restricting and having obsessive thoughts, I can’t be recovering. Time and time again, I’ve put off recovery because I don’t want to eat more, gain weight, or surrender my control. I’m coming to realise that by believing this, I’m failing to acknowledge the mental work involved, and how even doing some of the things below are ways I can take tiny steps in the right direction.
1. SELF CARE. Take that bath, paint those nails, say no to things you don’t want to do. (Surprise! This supports having respect for my own priorities and needs. Eating disorders hate that)
2. BE GRATEFUL. Think of things that are a blessing- clean water, a home, a family etc. Millions of people don’t have ANYTHING. (Surprise! Gratitude can be a light in the dark hole of eating disorder self pity)
3. EAT MORE FRUIT AND VEG! And no, progress doesn’t have to mean eating more calories right now. Surely, any positive food change deserves credit?! (Surprise! This goes against all the ED black and white thinking)
4. BE OPENLY VULNERABLE. Even admitting aloud that I’m not always sure I want recovery, and that sometimes I imagine anorexia killing me as a “success” takes courage. (Surprise! Rumour has that courage is a key ingredient in recovery)
So, there we have it. These few things are helping me to see life through some clearer lenses. I feel awful and sad and lonely sometimes, but that’s okay. I’m in a place where I’m scared of letting go, while equally scared of the consequences of holding on. In the meantime, I know I am doing something. Small steps can be just as important as big ones.