I wanna be really real with y’all. I wanna be raw + honest + vulnerable. I wanna share the absolute truth, but at the same time I don’t want to sound like a glorified drama queen.
But I’m gonna just go ahead and do it anyways. So here you go…. here’s the not-so-pretty parts of recovery.
ED recovery is scary. It’s the scariest and hardest thing I’ve ever done.
It’s like being unable to stop soaking your hand in a pot of boiling water. You get burned time and time again, but your brain still keeps yelling at you to stick your hand in the boiling water, even after your hand is blistered and damaged.
People look at you like you’re absolutely insane, because they don’t understand why you’d do such a thing; because they know it’s totally irrational but are powerless to stop you. And when you dip your hand back into the pot and hear the bubbling of the water boiling around your fingers and smell the burnt rubber stench of your flesh melting, you yank your hand back and cry.
You drench it with cold water to try and sooth the pain, but the water trickling down your hand doesn’t begin to stop the tears from flowing down your face, because you know it will only be a matter of time before you burn yourself again.
Recovery isn’t pretty. It’s not a clean-cut path. It’s messy. It’s two steps forward and three steps back some days. Other days, it’s nothing at all and you feel completely stuck. It’s a journey with no GPS, no map — not even a compass. There’s no 12-step process to follow and go through.
It’s trial and error with hundreds and hundreds of different approaches — because no one eating disorder or recovery journey is ever the same. The outcomes may look similar, but the routes to get there are never alike.
Recovery is like going through a maze blind-folded + alone. No one to take hold of your hand, walk with you through it, and find the way out for you. It’s a dark mess of running into walls, tripping + falling in the dirt, picking yourself back up, turning another direction, and doing the samething all over again.
Until finally, you stumble + fall + turn in the right direction enough times to land yourself at the exit, where your blindfold is removed, and you see everything – everything in brilliant + vibrant colors once again.
I’m not at the end of the maze yet, but oh how I long to bethere.
It’s easy to want to “be recovered” but it’s another thing to want “recovery”.
You see, being recovered is the vibrant colors, the contagious smiles, the joyful music, and the warmest hugs. But recovery — recovery is the confusion of the maze, the darkness of the blindfold, the bruises of the falls, and the coldness of the ground.
Recovery is the journey to recovered.
And just like any mountain top, the only way to get there is to climb. Climb, crawl, push, fight, scratch – whatever it takes to get there.
Behind my blog posts – behind my words – there’s a LOT of pain, a lot of trauma, a lot of tears, and a lot of discouraging thoughts. BUT, there’s also a lot of passion, a lot of fight, a lot of strength, a lot of heart, and a lot of determination.
This journey is far from easy.
This journey is a living hell.
This journey is pure fear.
But in life, sometimes the fear doesn’t go away, so you just have to do it afraid. And that’s exactly what I’ll do. I’m TERRIFIED of recovery, but I’m even more terrified to live in this numbers trap for the rest of a short-lived life.
I know I deserve freedom. I know I deserve to live a healthy, joyful, LONG + FULL life. I know I deserve to kick this disease to the curb and claim victory over my life again. I deserve to make it out of the maze – so I can share my story, spread awareness, and help others break free of the shackles of this disease. I deserve to LIVE and not just survive.
And you — whoever this is speaking to — I hope you know you deserve it too.