It’s been a few days and I can safely say that I have let go of my anger. It is such a useless emotion for me to experience because all I ever feel is destroyed by it. I truly believe in the Buddhist quote which says “holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die”. I don’t have the energy or desire to keep holding on to something so toxic. I did learn something from it though and that was that I am not as cold on the inside as I thought. I had this idea in my head that I had lost my ability to feel anything that intensely, it’s been a while since I have. I don’t really cry or scream or get upset these days. It felt like everything was reaching me after it was bypassed through a filter which sure works fine for all those pesky negative emotions, not so great when it comes to the positive ones. It turns out that I am actually capable of more than I believed.
That capability is also reflecting in my recovery. You know, when I first entered treatment I kind of just got by. Yes it was hard and horrendous but I did the least amount of what was required of me. I didn’t challenge the scary foods, I didn’t look carefully at what was fuelling the disorder and I had no intention of going further than what was needed for me to stay alive. I told myself that I could live with things that way and I did. I managed but my world was majorly restricted. I couldn’t eat out which meant that I said no to a lot of social events. My day would unravel because I couldn’t figure out how to eat lunch when I was out of my home and the things that I was allowed to have was limited. I would drive round several stores looking for one brand of something until I found out because I couldn’t be flexible and have something that was different. Anorexia made my life more difficult than it had to be. So when I went into treatment this time, I wanted to do things differently. All the things that weren’t priority before became important. I knew that I was going to have to make myself go out of my comfort zone which would mean not choosing the safest options on the menu or compensating in some way. It meant that I was going to work on eating out and letting other people cook for me. I didn’t get all of that down in treatment but I made a start. The problem was that when I was discharged, I didn’t follow through. I stopped challenging the frightening things and fell back into a bit of a rut. I bargained with myself that if I could just have a healthy body then I didn’t need to push myself. Yet it’s so hard to maintain a recovery like that because you’re never letting fully go of the disorder. I kept holding on to this part of it and I think it was a security thing. Part of me was still invested in the belief that it would heal me in some ways. Yet it was plain to see that keeping that safety net there, I was only falling backwards. It hit me that something had to change and so that’s what I’ve been doing.
The challenge days started a few weeks back now and I have done some pretty big ones. It’s an odd feeling when the beliefs that you clinged on to are disproved. I never know whether to be annoyed or relieved that my predictions are wrong. There is still the fear though that one day I will be right and all the terrible things that I imagined would happen, will happen. I really don’t want to be right on this one. I had a challenge today, reintroducing something that I took out a while back and hadn’t had the nerve to do myself. I don’t think it was a coincidence that as the day wore on today and it got nearer to my appointment that my body image was getting progressively worse. I know this was Anorexia playing tricks on me and I guess I was reminded of that today when my team member said “Is it your voice that is telling you this or is it the Eating Disorder voice?”. I didn’t even hesitate when answering because it was clear. If it was my voice then I wouldn’t have been that upset over what I was trying to do, it would have been fine. I wouldn’t have had to have an appointment and someone with me to just do it. When I think about it, most of the choices I make, whether they be a social thing or a food thing, they’re all governed by this domineering voice which wants to ruin my day and make me miserable. I’m tired of listening to that and responding to it. Next week I hit one of my biggest challenges. I am anxious already and that is why I know I have to do it and can’t avoid it anymore. I’ll let you know what happens.
I hope your day has been good to you