Eating Disorder Recovery · Uncategorized

Exercise Triggers

I think things are ok. It’s hard to tell. I get through the day in one piece most of the time and I don’t find myself wanting to scream at myself all the time which is always a positive thing. Of course there are the minor hiccups, the slip of my mood or break in my concentration but it passes. I’ve figured out how to let go of things quicker and easier than I used to be able to. I’ve got to admit, it does feel good to not have that sense of dread existing in my every waking moment. I’m scared to let myself get used to it because I am afraid that at some point it will be taken away again or I will throw it away. Somehow I think that would feel worse…to expect better and then for better to not be sustainable. There are some moments though where all I feel is haunted. It’s like there are all these things which I used to know that have left this imprint on me or something and when I lose my focus, they slip back in.

It happened yesterday.

I was in my weekly nutrition group and the subject was exercise. We were looking at the positives of healthy exercise and the consequences of over-exercising. We had done the positive side and had moved on to the negatives, then out of nowhere came this wave of sadness and desperation. I missed it yet I couldn’t believe I missing something that I know was so destructive to me. You see, it wasn’t the case of the feeling of movement or my heart rate rising, it was the punishing element that I missed. The narrow-mindedness of nothing else mattering. I missed the structure and routine and the physical pain which made me feel both dead and alive in equal measure. I missed feeling like I was in control and could make my body do anything I wanted it to do without listening to it. I thought I was invincible back then and yes I was somewhat delusional but it made sense. In that environment of the gym, where my real life did not enter, I was safe. I was safe until I wasn’t but that is only because the word safe had to be redefined. Then it was about keeping the Anorexia at a tolerable volume, it was making myself smaller and listening to the praises of the people around me as I was getting ‘healthier’. Now though…safe means a functioning heart and repairing my body. It means not losing hours stood on those mats stretching and reaching for an idea that was never attainable. I miss exercise and I want it back in my life properly but it scares me too much. I’m not confident enough to say that I could begin again and be able to stop when my times done. I’m not sure if I am capable yet of learning when enough is enough and not too much. The struggle of finding the middle ground is always going to be a challenge when it comes to this disorder and that annoys me.

Yet I am making progress in other areas of my recovery. The other day I was kind of disheartened by my failed challenge and I knew today was going to be a new one that I would have to meet. My pride would not let me fail again. I wanted to go big yet something held me back. Yes I still did a challenge and it was hard but it wasn’t the big thing that I wanted. It was the safer thing that meant I could hold back and not fall apart. There is nothing terrible about that but that’s not how I want to wrap up this time that I have in treatment. There are a few weeks left and I want to make them like the last two weeks on the ward. At that time, I put myself through hell with the challenges and everyday consisted of several massive things that I had to get over. It wasn’t fun and it sucked but it was the only way that I was going to move forward, so I think I have to apply that here and now. I have to come at this disorder with everything I have because there isn’t time to take it slow anymore. The months and years are slipping by and it still hurts. I’m so tired of it hurting.

I hope your day has been kind to you.


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