"We can try to avoid making choices by doing nothing, but even that is a decision."~Gary Collins
Right now I have a pretty difficult decision to make, one that I have been skirting around and avoiding for the past few weeks, either the eating disorder or my life. It’s as plain and simple as that. Either I continue down the path of destruction that I have been currently following or I decide to make some changes and do something about it. Right now those are really my only two options.
Although life isn’t black and white nor is recovery, right now this scenario is for me. Half attempts aren’t really going to cut it.(Been there, done that and got the shirt) I have watched my life continuously fall apart over and over again in the last two weeks, in more ways that I ever thought were possible. I have deeply hurt those around me and even more importantly myself. My body has suffered the consequences of my pain. I’ve been chest deep in denial and have carried around a “no-one-can-touch-me” attitude, while simultaneously harming myself.
The life that I am currently leading is a life of pure insanity. I have been so consumed by the eating disorder, depression and self-hatred that I haven’t been able to imagine a life outside of that. And that is because there isn’t. I can’t have my cake and eat it too. I can’t reap the benefits of the eating disorder without killing myself in the process. I can’t be numb to all of the anger, sadness and pain that I feel without being numb to happiness and joy as well. I can’t have strong relationships and love around me and still be full of so much hatred towards myself. I can’t be the fun, outgoing person that everyone loves and enjoys to be around while continuing to isolate. I can't enjoy a life full of connection while continuing to manipulate, hurt and push people away. I can’t continue to manipulate my body and expect to have a normal relationship with food. I can’t avoid all of the bad things and still expect to be able to take part in the good things. I can't help others while hurting myself. I can’t live a full life and still be consumed by all of this pain. It’s just not possible. I can’t have it both ways. There is no such thing as a complete life with an eating disorder.
As ridiculous as it may seem, this realization hurts, a lot. Although it’s been said to me many times, I think I have always believed, at least recently, that I could have both. I could waiver between being on the recovery track (when it’s convenient and not AS hard) and being deep in the eating disorder. That maybe I just need to find some sort of balance; work through the easier parts of recovery and still hold on to the deep wounds that have been stuffed down for years. That I could just eat enough to not end up hospitalized but still avoid stepping out of my comfort zone and really healing my relationship with food and my body, along with all of the deeper stuff.
In most aspects of my life I am a very hard worker and continuously give 120%. I don’t believe in doing things half assed but that is what I have been doing in recovery. Although it’s still been insanely hard, I have been doing the easier work. Just scratching the surface of the things that I have kept hidden. With that said, it shouldn’t be that much of a surprise that I find myself in the place that I have been recently, struggling as greatly as I have been. And yet that fact doesn’t make this any less frustrating.
I can’t expect others to make this decision for me. Although they can offer their advice and support, they can’t do much beyond that. They can’t make me want to get better and make changes, if I don’t want to myself. They can’t save my life, only I can.
Right now I am really struggling with this decision. What may seem like a no brainer to you doesn’t always seem that way to me. In all honesty, some days the pain of having to deal with and talk about things that have haunted me for years, seems a million times worse then the physical pain and discomfort I feel from not eating. Some times the mental escape from all of the beliefs of not feeling good enough or being worthy or a break from the insanely high standards that I hold myself to is worth the cost. Some days watching the number drop lower on the scale really makes me feel like I am one step closer to being ok. And some days it doesn’t. Some days I look at what I am doing and am over taken by sadness. I stop and realize that this isn’t the life that I am meant to lead and I realize that I am so much more. More than my eating disorder, circumstances and my past. And it’s those moments that keep my fighting.
I have been hiding behind the claim that I have no idea where to begin in order to get my life back and although there is a bit of truth in this statement, it’s just another lie that I have been telling myself in order to remain stuck. The choice is all my own, either the eating disorder or my life. It’s as simple and as complicated as that.