Whenever someone mentions “recovery” in terms of an eating disorder, I automatically assume that this is the absence of any disordered or abnormal thoughts concerning food and body issues. But realistically, I know that for someone with an eating disorder, it’s not always obtainable to be completely free of such thoughts. I don’t mean this in a negative way - I’m just saying that at the end of the day, not everyone’s definition of recovery is the same - and that’s okay.
I guess for myself, it’s always helpful to remind myself of my goals and aims with recovery, and why it’s important. Ultimately, my main focus is regain my ability to have children in the future, to restore the strength of my bone density and to live a life that doesn’t revolve around my meals and calorific content throughout the day. I want to live, but not for food. I’ve kind of broken down everything into different sections and how recovery would improve each aspect of my life.
It goes without saying that I’d be so much healthier if I was eating a nutritious diet instead of basically one of starvation. I would no longer feel tired, or weak. I wouldn’t spend my days ‘resting’ but instead being productive, spending time with friends and family and having the life a 19 year old should. My bones would be strong enough to allow me to do whatever I wanted, and I wouldn’t have to worry about the consequences that things like exercise or dancing bought. My heart wouldn’t be under any strain and I won’t have to risk another night in A&E for chest pains and low blood pressure. I wouldn’t feel cold due to poor circulation. (I love knitwear, but in summer? Not so much!)
My family and friends would be able to spend time with me - as opposed to a girl consumed with worry about what I ate last night, or how thin I look compared to someone who just walked past. They don’t care about what weight I am, and those who do are not people I want to spend my time with - so why should it matter? Instead, I want to be able to genuinely enjoy the life I lead, and to be able to share that. In September, I hope to move out and start University in shared accommodation. If I’m still ill, I can’t do that. This has been something I’ve been looking forward to for a long time, and to jeopardize that in order to remain skinny yet unhappy makes no sense. I know that would be something I’d truly regret in the future, and I’m happy to say I’m at the point now where I’m aware of my priorities.
It’s thinking these things through everyday that inspires me to keep going, and ‘stay strong’ - so to speak. Recovery is worth it, for whatever reasons you may have. This is my life, not my eating disorders - and I plan on living it the best I can :)