Everything about recovery is hard.
Physically, mentally, emotionally, it is an exhausting and difficult process.
I can’t really pinpoint any one particular aspect that I find more challenging than another but I will tell you something I have a lot of trouble with is being honest.
Not even necessarily with other people, but being honest with myself, and truly acknowledging the downfalls of my recovery and doing something positive to overcome them.
On Tuesday I told you I wasn’t facing fears like I should and that is probably the most simple, yet truthful thing I have admitted in a long time.
I am eating more calories. I am exercising for a shorter amount of time and with less intensity than I did when I was sick, but is that enough?
Those are the things my ED wants to notice about my recovery and yell at me for everyday, but really are those changes sufficient?
Have I gained the necessary amount of weight for my brain to function, my hair to stop falling out, my body to overall work properly and stop feeling like absolute s*it?
Nope. In fact, I might feel worse now than ever, biologically, but I can’t seem to mentally take the leap into full-blown “get healthy” mode.
I realize I am opening myself up to a ton of negative remarks here, and I accept that, but I need to process my internal lies and I think here might be the place to do it.
1. If I eat over 2,000 calories I freak out, when the plan is minimum of 2,500.
-I justify this by the fact that my body has changed a little by eating the 2,000 and therefore tell myself, the 500 extra would make me blow up like a balloon.
2. I still cannot fathom starting my work day without some form of physical activity.
-On the weekends I have become much more flexible with this…opting for walks later in the morning, going outside, limiting to a short, slow walk on nights I go out and dance, but the truth is I am getting SO bored with the treadmill.
Yes…I said it…my old “best friend” is starting to really annoy me.
I used to be able to handle and thought I ENJOYED over an hour on that damn machine but now sometimes 45 minutes feels like a decade.
I know a ton of treatment professionals do not advise exercise or physical activity for that duration of time but it used to be such a release for me.
Exercise is still a release in some regards; for example when I dance or partake in more unstructured activity like going to the park with Ryan, but the monotony of a belt and time at 4:15 in the morning is getting old.
I can’t believe I just wrote all that out because now I feel lazier than ever…my mind keeps telling me it isn’t that long of a time, and it is only a little over 3 miles, but if I am being completely honest, it is boring and I do not like it.
3. I am still very fearful of certain foods.
-I made my first legitimate scrambled egg this weekend. Yolk and all….not from a carton marked “Beaters” and it was delicious.
It does taste a lot different and I wanted more.
But I couldn’t bring myself to make another.
Instead I scrambled 1/3 cup eggs beaters with it and thought it would be ok.
The point here is not really about eggs specifically, but the fact that it is still restricting if I want more of something but my mentality prevents me from having it.
The same rule applies when I still might be a little hungry after meals, and yet I think about the impending snack that is a few hours away and don’t listen to my cues.
In theory I should be ecstatic that my body wants food…that it is tired, napping a lot and craves sleep…that the treadmill does not provide me the high it used to….but instead these changes cause me anxiety and misery because of my worries of becoming fat, undesirable and worthless.
Being open about these things is hard, but so is being sick.
Everything seems like a struggle…agony…and I often go back and forth which is worse; the mental strain of doing the “right things” or living with ED on a constant basis and trying to maintain that lifestyle.
As Ryan constantly reminds me, the distorted and tormenting thoughts CAN be temporary IF I continue ti fight and push through…it just takes a little while, whereas a life with ED is pretty much guaranteed an eternity of misery.
I think I can’t win now, imagine what a complete existence of negative self-talk would be like.
Courage, hope and patience.
Three words I am keeping in mind today, and hopefully everyday on this seriously long road.