Tonight I went my support group in the hope that once there I would find the courage to say the things out loud which I’ve only been able to say to you my lovely readers. However once there I found that my words got stuck in my throat. I struggled to verbalise the thoughts that have been overwhelming me and I began to think it was probably going to be best if I just stopped talking. Luckily though we have a wonderful group facilitator who gave me enough guidance, reassurance and space to get to persevere. I think it’s helped, even just acknowledging that I’m not coping very well helped. It felt like for the first time in a while that this expectation to appear fine and capable (self-inflicted) was not needed. I could just stop with all the bloody pretence for a moment. I work so hard in my day-to-day life to keep the intensity of my struggles hidden from anybody else because I’m afraid of appearing vulnerable or weak. I’m not quite sure though which is worse: Me realising that I’m still unwell or someone else seeing that. I dislike both. It’s just hard for me to acknowledge either because physically I’m a lot better than what I was before treatment and if it was for anyone else I would say without a doubt that the physical aspect does not equal a recovered person…but for me, again, that rules somehow does not apply.
Anyway, all that aside something really positive come out of tonight.
Someone asked me whether going into treatment had been worth it? Did it help?
I didn’t really need time to think about. It had been completely worth it. I hated it and lost count of the amount of times it drove me to chain-smoking and swearing and ranting but I also know that without it, there isn’t a chance in hell that I’d be here now. I wouldn’t have made it to the end of 2012. That question though did make me remember all the good things that have come out of the choice of recovery. To tell someone else who was thinking about going down the same option that I can laugh and read now was really good for my soul tonight. I needed that reminder of everything I have gained. What is strange though is how not one of those thoughts had anything to do with my physical appearance. I always believed and probably still do that the only thing that comes to mind whenever Anorexia Recovery is mentioned is weight gain (or weight restoration, if your asking my therapist). That’s the first thing that came to me when I was first entering treatment and yet now when I do think of my process so far, I don’t think “Recovery made me gain weight and also led to a better mood, reconnection with the world, cognitive functioning etc” it is just “Recovery led to me being able to have a conversation again, it allowed my mind to think again, it opened up my eyes to things that I had given up on”.
Maybe there is something in that. That the physical appearance of the body has little importance when compared to the reclaiming of the mind.
I hope you are well and being kind to yourselves.