A few weeks ago my good, honest, super helpful, friend Clare suggested I think back to what sparked my motivation for recovery post Healthy Living Summit last year.
Ha, I will again refer to the infamous negative feedback I received following a few pictures that were online, asking how I could possibly claim to be in recovery when I looked so much like death.
The semi-hurtful, but constructive e-mail and comment actually led to me doing the best I ever had during my home-based path to gaining balance and wellness, and perhaps subconsciously that is why I decided to share recent photos of myself on vacation in this very public way.
Let me explain…
It was not my intention yesterday to invoke several remarks about my “ill-appearance,” or “phony-recovery.”
In fact, when I first uploaded our camera I was just excited to briefly relive an amazing trip with my husband and blog about something that is a huge passion in my life; travel. But many people felt it was necessary to express their concern about my current state, which is fine because anytime I put something on this forum I know it is open to many, and is up to the perception of anyone who chooses to read; everyone is entitled to their opinion and I welcome those things in a respectful way.
All that being said, after reading through the comments (some of which I did not approve yet because I am still sorting out how to take them) and messages, I got to thinking about my faith.
I am a person who whole-heartedly believes God does things for a reason. I know he has a plan for me and even though sometimes I don’t understand why things occur the way they do, I just have to trust that they are all part of a bigger picture that will eventually make sense.
I would like to think my struggle could potentially help someone else someday, so they don’t have to spend years and precious time fighting something so difficult, but instead could learn from my failures and triumphs. If that is the ultimate purpose behind me being sick, I would be thrilled that God put me up to the challenge.
But going back to the pictures and expressions made by readers, perhaps the Lord knows I need help right now.
If you want me to be honest, I don’t really look through my gallery and see a frail figure.
The most frustrating thing to my husband is how out of touch I am with reality, my body and what is healthy, which is a large part of why I deny in my mind that there are still any issues, but maybe I need to re-evaluate my way of thinking.
Since we have been home I have had a lot of body-image breakdowns and difficulty accepting that my appetite is so large and wants to consume more than a calorie mark that is way higher than my ED days, but not enough for appropriate repair and weight restoration. I have trouble grasping that gaining weight could be the answer to eliminating cognitive distortions and the raging beast that my tummy seems to be, because to me, I look absolutely fine.
*Just a little side note: At breakfast this morning I nearly cried in frustration that I just feel so out of control and gluttonous because of having something I thought was too indulgent for 6 a.m. ( <—-Should that be an indication I still live in an ED world?! Probably.)
So maybe I need people in the outside world to be brutally honest with me.
My co-workers would never say anything because a mental illness that manifests physically, makes most people uncomfortable and confused.
My family has dealt with this for years and many have given up saying a word since I have tried and failed countless times.
And it isn’t fair for me to expect Ryan to be my nurse, husband, best friend, support, nutritionist, therapist, reality-checker, etc. because half the time I am in such an irrational mind-set I don’t even believe him when he tells me I am closer to death than life.
Sometimes it is the un-biased, un-solicited, voices of others who are the biggest forces behind my most productive changes, and maybe my vacation photos were my cry for help? Maybe I need other eyes to make me truly see where I am in the journey?
As I said the other day, ED tends to be deceptive in our gauges of how well we truly are doing in the recovery process, and as with most areas of my life he seems to be my own worst enemy, lying every step of the way.
P.S. I just realized it has been about a year since I started blogging consistently, so thank you all for supporting me. It has definitely been a road of ups and downs, and ultimately my physical shape proves I still have a long way to go, but I feel like writing has helped me grow, stay on a better path, and keep accountable for all my actions. I appreciate that you have stuck by me through even the most repetitive and pathetic of posts, because without you, who knows where I would be.
Have a great rest of the weekend!