everyone’s recovery is different.
It’s taken me a while to come to terms with this, and in some way I’m still working on it.
It’s not really that it matters. Or that I care all that much. Or that I feel differently about recovery based on what I see happening to other people.
But the truth is, I compare. I compare my journey to those I see around me. I see their triumphs and I feel differently about my own. I see their journeys and I feel differently about my own.
I’ll even say the thing we’re all pretending isn’t true: I see their struggles and I feel guilt, ashamed, sad and weak for my own successes and triumphs in recovery.
Because in case you forgot, eating disorders are a big ‘ole bitch.
That’s what this disease does to you. It twists and manipulates everything around you to remind you that “you weren’t sick enough,” “you aren’t sick enough,” “recovery is a hoax,” “nothing was ever wrong with how you were living,” and so on. It takes the struggles and triumphs of others and turns them into some sort of commentary and litmus test on how good you are at being sick and relapsing.
So today I say no. I name those voices and call them out for what they are, my demons trying to pull my away from a life of joy, honesty, love and so much more. So today I call it out and really act through the values that I know bring me truth and joy.
So today instead of letting the remnants of my disorder (which are certainly still there, chit chatting along, as usual) tell me what I am and what I’m not. I try to let that go, inch by inch and grab on to the things that serve me in much more vibrant ways. I put my basic needs first and separate my physical and emotional needs from the lies of my oppressor. I take care of myself and I lend love and support to those around me who are struggling, because their struggle doesn’t need to invalidate my own and I can try to lead them through the darkness without moving to my own detriment.
Eating disorders want us to compare. They want us to win. They want us to be the worst off and the one barely holding on, but the people we love need us to be more than that.
Always take care of yourself, but remember you don’t need to be anywhere other than where you are right now.