Recovering in Real Life

My therapist likes to talk about “recovery jobs.” This is her idea that when you are fairly new to recovery you shouldn’t jeopardize your recovery by putting yourself in too hectic, overwhelming or time-consuming of a situation. Recovery in and of itself is a job.

When I was in residential, recovery was my life. In residentialYou ate, slept and breathed recovery and pretty much nothing else. It was safe. It was the perfect place to grow in your recovery journey. As you step down in treatment, recovery is still your #1 priority, but as you life tips in balance from treatment back to the real world, you have to find how to keep prioritizing your recovery while living your real life.

I don’t know about you, but my idea of a happy, fulfilled life, does not include fretting over my food intake and trying to decide how much exercise I can do without raising red flags to my friends, family and treatment team. *Even if everything else seems great (great job, new city, travel, whatever it may be) it doesn’t matter if you’re still fighting the same battles inside.

I know this and yet I’ve tried to fight it.

A week and a half ago I moved from North Carolina, where I have lived for the past 15 years, where I developed my eating disorder, where I lived out my eating disorder, and where I surrendered to treatment for my eating disorder, and moved to Nashville, Tenn. Nashville has been my dream for as long as I can remember. When I entered treatment I was devastated (partly) because I had just graduated from college and instead of moving on to my glamorous future in Music City, I was moving into Carolina House (see previous post The Plan).

 

15803379_576672872530167_4021324698959740928_n1
Side note: Nashville is a lot more fun when you’re in recovery. Summer 2015 (L) miserable and living in Nashville. Summer 2016 (R) ALIVE.

 

 

Finally, almost eight months after I stepped through the doors of Carolina House, I packed up my Nissan and hit the road.

YAY EVERYTHING IS GREAT AND NOW THAT I’M WHERE I ALWAYS WANTED TO BE I AM CURED AND RECOVERY IS PERFECT AND I FEEL LIKE A BRAND NEW PERSON AND I AM RECOVERED…WATCH OUT WORLD.

hahhahahahahahhahahahahhahahahahahhahahahahhahahahahahhahahahahhahahahahahhahahahahhahahahahahhahahahahhahahahahahhahahahahhahahahahahhahahahahhahahahahahhahahahahhahahahahahhahahahahhahahahahahhahahahahhahahahahahhahahahahhahahahahahhahahahahhahahahahahhahahahahhahahahahahhahahahahhahahahahahhahahahahhahahahahahhahaha no (see * in paragraph 3).

I was struggling before I left. I found out I was moving two weeks before I had to hit the road and in that time I had to tie up all of my loose ends, have rushed final meetings with my treatment team, say goodbye to the people who have loved and supported me this far and try to pack up my life (you try deciding what you need out of your childhood bedroom, it’s hard as all get out). Meanwhile, I was slowly cutting corners on the recovery necessities that had once been an unnegotiable part of my days. I told myself, and my team, that once I go to Nashville and settled in, I would fall back on track with my meal plan because I would be so happy to be here following my dreams.

hahhahahahahahhahahahahhahahahahahhahahahahhahahahahahhahahahahhahahahahahhahahahahhahahahahahhahahahahhahahahahahhahahahahhahahahahahhahahahahhahahahahahhahahahahhahahahahahhahahahahhahahahahahhahahahahhahahahahahhahahahahhahahahahahhahahahahhahahahahahhahahahahhahahahahahhahahahahhahahahahahhahahahahhahahahahahhahaha no (see * in paragraph 3).

I moved to Nashville for a part-time internship, but because the internship is part-time (and unpaid) I had to find a way to supplement my life for the next few months. So I did what I always do, hit up Care.com and find a babysitting job. I was lucky enough to find a job that offered room and board (free food, yay!) as well as weekly pay for 25 hours of babysitting a week. Everything was falling into place and making it so easy for me to take the leap and feel like it was the right thing to do.

But then I got here.

My living situation is cool, I have my own floor in a beautiful house in one of the nicest parts of the city. I have my mornings to myself (or my internship) and then around 3 o’clock I move into babysitting mode. This is something I am very used to, but this time it is different. The family is different. The job is different. The mood is different. And it immediately threw me off kilter. And when you’re overwhelmed, stressed, doubting yourself and feeling alone what do you do? Find something you can control. For me, that’s food. So things haven’t been the best.

I wish I knew what things would have been like if my first weeks here hadn’t been so unnerving, uncomfortable and difficult for my self-esteem, but I can’t move forward with “what-ifs.” So now I have a choice to make.

I don’t know exactly what I am going to do. I need to get back on track. I need to prioritize my health. But we all know it’s not that easy. What I do know, is if I continue down a road like this, treatment will be my only option and I am not willing to throw my life off course once again just because I can’t (or won’t) use all of the tools I have at my fingertips.

Right now, recovery can’t be my 24/7…I have jobs, responsibilities and plan. But it does have to be a priority, constantly.

So today I made my recovery a priority; I emailed a new dietitian to make an appointment for the coming weeks, I used my voice to ask the mom I am babysitting for to give me a better idea of what she needs from me and when, and I texted my therapist about some of my racing thoughts. So I’m taking it day by day because that is all I really can do.

I want recovery no matter what those pesky voices are telling me.

Recovery is worth it. I’ve seen that.

Recovery is a roller coaster, y’all. Keep holding on.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s