These past few weeks have been very difficult. More difficult than things have been in a while. Yet difficult looks a lot different than it used to. In the past a difficult day consisted of feeling overwhelmed/like I couldn't handle things and not eating because of it. It consisted of attempting to use food (or lack there of) to attempt to control what I couldn't. I used the scale, restriction, calorie counting and isolation for comfort. I obsessed about everything, honestly making things more difficult in the long run. I wasn't solving my problems or working through my pain, I was avoiding it. In the past a difficult day was an instant excuse to use the eating disorder to cope and I looked for every excuse possible.
Difficult days don't look like that anymore. Even though my recovery is still a work in progress, conscious restriction is no longer an option. It isn't my go to. In fact, I am paranoid to not eat. When I go long periods of time without eating, I become crazy; overly emotional, unable to handle anything, hysterical and completely irrational. My mood is no longer dictated by the number on the scale nor do I use a piece of plastic and metal to dictate my worth. Calorie counting is no longer a part of my daily time wasting. Although unfortunately a lot of nutritional information is engrained in my head, I no longer spend time keeping track of every calorie that goes into my mouth. In fact, it really pains me to think of all of the years that I spent doing that.
Difficult days are no longer days ruled by the eating disorder. These past few weeks have been hard but have shown me how solid my recovery is. They have shown me how strong I truly am. There have been a lot of tears, uncomfortable moments, pain, anger, change, among many other negative things, but restricting hasn't crossed my mind. A lot of days have been a struggle, especially emotionally, but I have turned to John, family, friends and my treatment team for help and comfort. My hard days are no longer defined by the food that I don't eat or the things that I avoid, instead by gentle reminders that it will get better. Some nights end with me curled up in a ball crying in bed. Most mornings start off with a lot of self-talk and reminders.Most days end with me getting off from work, eating dinner and going to bed. Some days I am a mess and rely a lot on deep breaths and constant reassurance from others.
A year ago, I couldn't imagine a life without anorexia and now on most days I am living it. I don't remember the exact moment when I decided that things had to change but I know that I haven't looked back. It will be a while before I can let my guard down, but I am confident that anorexia no longer has a place in my life. No matter how hard the day, I know that I can get through it.