I am going to begin my recovery again. I realized very soon into my relapse that I was out of control, but I wasn’t ready to return to recovery. It’s difficult to explain why, but I wasn’t in the right mental mindset. I didn’t have any more energy, any more resolve, or any more strength. It was like my batteries were dead but I just wanted to exist, drained, without attempting to recharge.
The wonderfully supportive comments I received on my last post helped me to remember that the last two weeks – my relapse – was not the end of the road. It was an ill-fated turn, one that led to a long, unpaved, volatile path that would eventually reconnect to my road to recovery, but only if I didn’t leave the wheel.
As I mentioned previously, the strategies that once worked for me don’t work well for me anymore. I am going to give these new strategies a try:
- I have ordered two BED self-help books, which should arrive by the middle of next week. I’m looking forward to (hopefully) gaining fresh insight into BED recovery, and I intend to write reviews of the books after or as I go through them. I also think that reading the books or key chapters may be a good way to fight off a burning urge to binge.
- I have set aside a new journal for me to write in when the urge strikes. When I want to binge, I will fill out the HALTS acronym. Am I Hungry, Anxious, Lonely, Tired, or Sad? If I am not actually hungry, I will need to assuage the negative feeling or emotion without using food. Writing out why I feel that emotion and what I can do to alleviate my uncomfortable feelings may help. I’m going to throw Bored in with Tired since I often binge out of boredom.
- If I’m in school on my computer when I’m struggling, I will write an email to the incredibly kind Little Miss Fit, who generously offered her support via email. Having someone real to write to when I wanted to binge was something I lacked in my first seven months of recovery.
The one positive I took from my health challenge was becoming more accustomed to exercising regularly. I will try to commit to working out on three days/week during law school this year, which will hopefully slow down further weight gain, help me sleep better, and improve my overall fitness. I don’t find that exercise relieves stress for me (in fact, knowing that I have to exercise later kind of stresses me out), but exercising is nonetheless an important part of a healthy lifestyle.
Looking back at my very first post on this blog, it both broke and warmed my heart to read what I had written: You are not less of a person – not less kind, less intelligent, less compassionate, less generous, less beautiful – because you have an eating disorder. You are not your eating disorder. You are not inadequate. You are someone deserving of love, from yourself and from others.
I wrote that. I wrote that. To know that at one point in time, I truly, honestly, genuinely believed that about myself, was an enormous comfort. It also saddened me to realize that I have somehow fallen from that place of inner peace and forgiveness. But the truth remains. I am not inadequate. I am deserving of love, from myself and from others. If I want to recover, I need to believe in those words once again.
The ending of my first post is just as appropriate here, but this time, it’s addressed to me: There is no shame in having an eating disorder. There is no shame in a slow recovery. There is no shame in needing support from others. Keep fighting.