The reality is, recovery is shit but gradually you get used to that and it becomes more tolerable, eventually you don’t even realise you’re doing it anymore… well that’s the hope anyway.
Once again the timing of my blogging has been quite apt, I seem to have a knack of starting a blog post and then having a conversation of the same theme with someone, or seeing it in real life. This happened again today. Last week I wasn’t well and as a result I was under quarantine and ‘banned’ from the ward. Now so close to my discharge date, a bit of independent practice wasn’t a bad thing but it showed me that actually living a ‘recovered’ life is exhausting and a real challenge. The nice shiny idea I had of leaving the program all better was possibly a bit of an unrealistic expectation because I actually do still have an eating disorder. This realisation, I suppose, has been something I’ve been coming to over a number of weeks but the time to myself completely independently just brought it to the forefront of my mind.
I have a cartoon on my wall that depicts the road to recovery as two lines, the expectation of a line that goes directly from A to B and the reality of a line that goes backwards and forwards in a form of a scribble, ultimately getting from A to B but not straight away. As long as the general movement is in the right direction then it’s ok if it’s not exactly the way you would expect, it’s ok for it to be good enough. Nb. I’ve added the cartoon now! Because it made more sense to have it in my blog.
So one night, at the dining table, we were discussing the difficulties we were facing and wondering when it would start to feel easier. At the start of the program, we complied with the boundaries because we had to which became doing it for ourselves because we had worked out our reasons for recovery which often also included recovering for others. The reality was that recovery was and still is hard work, a constant battle and drive to keep on track and make the ‘recovery’ focused decision multiple times a day. The silver lining, I determined, was that gradually you get more used to how crap recovery is until, hopefully, it would become so routine and mundane that it would be the automatic choice rather than requiring an internal dialogue each time. It all sounds somewhat depressing but actually it feels like real life. The hard things become tolerable, you may not always love doing them but you have an inbuilt understanding of why you need and want to be doing them which then becomes almost innate. And overall, faced with the alternative, recovery sucks a while lot less than life with an eating disorder does! So yes, recovery is a bit shit, but I will be choosing it as it holds the key to the life I want to leave and I’m ok with the fact that it’s going to feel uncomfortable until I’ve got used to it.