*tw* disordered eating, trauma recovery
I know healing isn’t linear. I know it, and yet every time my “progress” stops appearing as an upward vertical climb and leans more towards a “crazed ant that got dipped in ink and let loose on a graph”, I catch myself panicking. I’ve worked SO HARD to be “okay” – or some version thereof – and the terror takes hold that I’m RIGHT BACK WHERE I STARTED AND I’M NEVER EVER GOING TO GET “BETTER”. Here lately, my emotional recovery, and not at all coincidentally, my eating disorder recovery, have both taken somewhat of a sharp nosedive. As old traumas, fears, and hurts have surfaced, so too have old mental thought patterns and coping mechanisms. Which, if you’re like me, adds insult to injury, as I see even more “proof” of my relapse. Which of course, adds another layer of guilt and shame, which triggers MORE disordered patterns… It’s a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad cycle.
I promised myself when I picked this blog back up that I would commit to being as transparent and “radically honest” in this space as I am able to be within the limits of my social anxiety and respect for my own and other’s privacy. Because I think there needs to be more radical honesty in our culture, ESPECIALLY around mental health, our feelings, and the realities of our lives. As social media takes on more and more of our social needs, I have found myself scrolling through the “highlight reels” and feeling like I’m the only person currently struggling. It really hit me while I zoned out on Instagram recently, that while there is now (FINALLY!) an abundance of plus size and “body positive” influencers posting about how much they adore their bodies (rightfully so, they’re absolutely beautiful), and about their fantastic progress in the realm of recovering from disordered eating (which is AMAZING) – there is a rather glaring lack of people posting about where I find myself, currently – *BARELY* tolerating their body, battling the daily battle to JUST EAT SOMETHING, ANYTHING, in some kind of predictable schedule, struggling to not tear themselves apart over their perceived physical flaws, suppressing ( or failing to suppress) the urge to Google cosmetic procedures to “fix” said flaws, and very much feeling like an all around massive failure on the “recovery” front. Which okay, I get it. None of that is “cute”, none of that is glamorous, none of that is “feel good”. But the reality is, if the intention is to REALLY help others, we need to be transparent about the fact that recovering from disordered eating is hard, and “cringey,” and so, so not fun. No one wakes up one day just “cured” and suddenly totally in love with their body after a lifetime of being told it’s somehow “wrong”. It’s a long, hard won war, and the battles are many and frequent. So for any of you who may currently find yourselves where I am, I see you. It sucks, and I’m so sorry you’re struggling. But no matter what our brains try to tell us, we ARE worthy of our own care and kindness. We ARE worthy of as much, if not more, of the love we give to others. Our bodies are doing their best to keep us going, and they’re beautiful, EVEN if diet culture, body dysmorphia, and general poor mental health makes it so we can’t see it. Reach out to your support people (I already have), read or re-read an inspiring “recovery” book – my personal go-to’s are “You Have the Right to Remain Fat” by Virgie Tovar, “The F*ck It Diet” by Caroline Dooner, and “What We Don’t Talk About, When We Talk About Fat” by Aubrey Gordon. Drink some water, munch on a snack, and take a deep breath. We’re going to keep fighting, and we’re going to get through this, together. I love you.