Tuesday, August 14, 2012

I choose...

I didn't choose to have an eating disorder. Genetics loaded the gun and environment pulled the trigger. But that doesn't mean that I don't have a say or am powerless. I have choices and decisions to make every single day.

When it comes to my recovery I like to pass off responsibility. I find myself making excuses, blaming others and taking the easy road of "it's not my fault, it's just too hard". Which I find very ironic, considering this is the extreme opposite of the approach that I take in EVERY other aspect of my life. In "real" life I am a go-getter. I very rarely turn down a challenge because it's too hard and I despise excuses. I also normally take more than my far share of responsibility for things. But with the eating disorder its different.

Despite my Friday lunch success I have been really struggling to follow my meal plan and do what I need to do. Although I trust the suggestions and advice that my treatment team gives me, lately I have been doing a lot of bargaining with them, myself and the eating disorder. I have come up with a million excuses and then have become extremely angry with the outcome and consequences that follow. Instead of taking responsibility for my actions and accepting the consequences, I have looked the other way. After all, just blame the ED right? Wrong.

Although developing an eating disorder isn't my fault, whether I choose to actively engage in behaviors or try my hardest to seek out support and recover is. Every day that I skip a meal, step on a scale, cut a few calories here or there and ignore my treatment team, I am making a choice. Whether I take the "easier" road of self destruction or the bumpy path of recovery is soley up to me. And it isn't always either or.

Most of the time I don't choose recovery for myself. A lot of the time it's for the people that I care about and more practical reasons, which isn't necessarily a problem. But sometimes I forget that other people can not do this for me. No one can make me eat or do the right thing. Although others can give suggestions and provide support, they cannot make me recover or make me want to.

As I have said many times, there isn't anything easy or simple about recovering from an eating disorder. This is by far the hardest work I have ever had to do in my entire life. As someone who has suffered for a very long time a lot of the negative thinking and eating disorder beliefs have become so engrained in me that they feel natural. Choosing to engage in eating disorder behaviors is by far a lot easier and has become a knee jerk response. It doesn't even require much thinking. On the other hand, recovery is hard, it isn't as mechanical and requires a lot of attention and time. Sometimes more than I have or am willing to give.

Lately I have longed to be normal. I have wanted to reach the freedom of the other side more than anything. I have wanted to live a life without meal plans, calorie counting, strict rules and obsessing. To be truly present to everything in my life and not affected by the fog of the eating disorder. Except I haven't wanted to fully commit. I have been attempting to bargain and half ass my way to this place, picking and choosing the parts of recovery that are convenient at the time.The easier ones that don't take as much time and effort.

Like everything else in life, what you put in is what you receive and I am receiving a whole lot of misery. Right now I have a lot of truly amazing things going on and my life, things that make me happy and I am beyond grateful for every single day. As a whole I couldn't be more excited about the direction that my life is headed and what is in store for the future. But there is a catch, the eating disorder has had it's bags packed for a while and has continued to hitch a ride and this is where the power of choice comes in.

 Today I am not really sure where I stand. I wish I could say I choose recovery 100% and don't plan to look back but that would be a lie. So instead, today I choose to do the best that I can; to try and ask for help when needed and do what needs to be done. I choose to take a deep breath and attempt to drudge through the challenges that I will face throughout the day. I choose to enjoy life; my job, John and our pets, as well as all of the new friends that I have made recently. I choose to accept that this isn't going to be easy or perfect but that I can do it. I choose to be honest with myself and those around me about my current struggles and seek out their support when necessary. Although I am not overly enthusiastic about it, today I choose recovery, even if that means baby steps. I choose to get up, dust myself off and put one foot in front of the other.

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