A friend I have basically become reliant on in my recovery expressed to me today in the tough-love way only she knows how….that I need to either take responsibility for my recovery or seek higher care. At first I was outraged. “How dare she say such a thing.” That was what ED was saying. But then…then I let Jess speak. Here is what Jess said.
“She is right. You have relied on her over and over again to make decisions. Used her as a scapegoat to disobey ED. The same way you have in treatment. Making it about someone else making you do it. The same way the motivation to be free like your father was with food. To express your love for food the way he did…got twisted into recovering for him. But like every time in the past…if you keep recovering for other people…you will never get better. You have to admit and accept you are making these decisions and do it for you”
That is what the real me said. The true, genuine, scared…and yet completely motivated me said. The part that wants to recover. Because it’s the truth. I make hard recovery decisions but always get someone else’s approval. Notice I said approval…not support. Approval is getting the okay, support is knowing its okay and being confident in that..but asking others to help you through the fear. Support leads to recovery…but I am starting to think approval just keeps ED in power.
Until I can start claiming, accepting, and even feeling empowered by making my own recoverydecisions and beating ED myself..I won’t have a sustainable recovery…because I won’t be doing anything. It will always be other people. So I can stay buddy, buddy with ED, but disobey him because other people make me. Yes…this is the easy way to recover…and the easiest way to set yourself up to relapse. Because what about the one day (or in the case of my dad rest of my life) they aren’t there to give you approval. Then what? You listen to ED? And reality is no matter who gives you approval or who you ask to choose your meals….in the end really it is you making the decisions. It’s just sometimes hard to admit you are disobeying ED….because in the depths of it…sometimes ED seems safe to have around.
But recovery isn’t safe. Recovery is scary. And ED isn’t safe either. ED is on a path to bring you to death and destruction. So it’s up to you to save yourself and claim the life you want. But the first step is claiming the victories you have when YOU choose to disobey ED.
So today I didn’t overexercise. I choose scary foods (ie grilled chicken, applesauce, wheat bagel), I chose to not do ED behaviors (ie skimp food, pour out portions, spill oatmeal). I did it and after I decided to, sure I still asked for support…and sometimes even slipped into approval…but I claimed my responsibility…my choice. And I feel amazing. Proud even. Happy even. Excited even. Not at all how ED said I would feel. Maybe part of the power of recovery is realizing your power to overcome ED…one choice at a time. Praise God for my strength and this eye-opening experience. Hope it made some sense and you all are enjoying the reading J