I am a walking contradiction.
This was evident from some of the comments people left in response to my post Sunday evening about me NOT being a risk taker.
I never considered that I actually put myself in danger every day through unhealthy actions.
I didn’t really process that my relationships are in jeopardy at all times because of ED’s decisions.
Instead, I viewed living with an eating disorder as a safety net and recovery as the scariest thing in the world since it is so foreign, with no calculable outcome.
I was obviously mistaken, because as many of you pointed out, finding a more balanced existence, and essentially healing, is a “sure thing” if the proper steps are taken to get there.
If I got well, my family would be happy; meaning my fears of everyone leaving would be more invalid because the reasons why they would decrease significantly.
I would be able to resume old hobbies that have been taken away due to cardiac issues or exhaustion and worry from my loved ones, and I would ultimately be gaining a way more enjoyable LIFE.
The aspect of recovery that is NOT certain has to do with body image, and that certainly clouded my judgment of the journey when I was writing over the weekend.
I cannot predict how my body will put on the pounds, when weight will redistribute, if I will be absolutely miserable because I feel fat or have paunch around the middle that I do not like.
All these things I claim I KNOW will happen, but have I ever let myself get far enough down the path to CONFIRM those fears?
I will tell you honestly, I did not LOVE my body when the scale increased so drastically within a hospital setting.
Gaining 3.5 pounds a week is a pretty significant expansion for anyone to be able to handle, especially someone who has a completely distorted mind that “felt” the flab with every bite, so I think maybe that is part of the reason why I am SO reluctant to plunge right into a higher calorie plan.
But I can also say, when I got home and was visibly heavier, it was NOT the end of the world; uncomfortable, absolutely, but no one shunned me because I went up a pant size.
The other component of recovery that frightens me has nothing to do with physical appearance, but rather, the immense feelings that ensue.
I have experienced first hand that emotions can be pretty intense as a person heals.
For me, anger came first.
EVERYTHING I felt came out as anger…even if I was sad, anxious, etc. It just seemed that being mad was what visibly displayed.
I HATED this phase because I acted out of character and felt mean to people that did not deserve the rage I had inside.
Everything was misdirected and overzealous, but that was because I had twenty years of pent up emotion, and not knowing how to handle, or effectively portray them to others.
I simply needed to learn appropriate ways of coping that weren’t personal abuse or yelling.
Doing the “wrong” thing has always made me incredibly nervous, and so since I wasn’t sure how emotions were “supposed” to be shown, I just didn’t want to deal with them at all.
It seemed easier to revert back to old, more comfortable habits, than to forge on, give up ED behaviors and sit with the vulnerability, fury, or whatever else came up.
Being open, forthcoming with who you are minus the crutch of ED, is not necessarily a risk.
People may be surprised by the changes they see in a person who decides to implement a healthier way of life; ultimately more assertion, a different physical appearance, etc. but it seems to make all aspects of being, better.
All I have ever wanted was to be healthy, have good morals, values, be a role-model, an athlete, a worthy, respectable human-being, and those things cannot happen with the conniving manipulation, medical risks, and isolated personality that comes with being sick.
I continually contradict myself because I do, and am, the exact opposite of what I want.
I want to be healthy and active….
Well that means following a meal plan and getting my bones strong, my heart working properly, and to a stable point where I can move without my husband having a panic attack. Have I been able to do that? Not really.
I want to be an inspiration…
Well I have news for myself…no one SHOULD look up to a person who hurts themselves and those she loves most in the world, who has no self-confidence, and is slowly committing suicide even though ED refuses to see it that way.
And I certainly cannot accomplish my dreams, aspirations I have had since I was a little girl for not only me, but Ryan and I, when I am confined and restricted by a life such as the one I am living now.
So I need to stop gambling with my health, and start betting on recovery, because that, it seems is a much more lucrative pay out.