Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Recovery commitment

Do you know what nobody ever tells you about recovery? It's a bloody big commitment. It's probably a good thing that they don't- when I'm especially ill I can barely commit to a pair of underwear of a morning, never mind to changing my life- but in the interests of full disclosure, I'm going to level with you here; sometimes that commitment is an almighty drag, because it's about doing the exact opposite of what seems instinctive. It's turning all your effort from self-destruction to something more than even self-preservation and that's absolutely terrifying. Any change is hard but having to change every. single. thing. that you do? Imagine it. So, for example, on bad days I have to consciously argue with my thoughts. I might look in the mirror and want to cry, but I force myself to look, find something I like (and this can take a bloody long time) and then move on, tear-free. It's almost a bit like looking over your shoulder, knowing you are likely to be attacked at any time and plotting your next move. Exhausting.

I wish it was as simple as eating more for a little while, until my weight was healthy, and then getting on with the rest of my life. I've had my weight healthy now for about 8 months, and that's amazing. I look better and I feel so, so much better. My brain works again and so I'm a nicer person to be around, too. When you're literally starving your cognitive distortions turn you into a bit of a monster. You're so scared of looking, visually, like a monster that you pretty much become one, personality-wise. It's a strange one, but anyone who has managed to love me when I've been really ill is my hero. It's not easy for the sufferer or the long-suffering loved ones.

But I wish, sometimes, I could just commit to some parts of recovery. It's nice not to always have a countdown going to my next suicide attempt. It's amazing to actually be able to plan things, because I know, chances are, I'll still be here to carry them through. It's comforting that I'm not constantly cold and tired and mardy and that I can laugh and, more than anything, I will never take my freedom for granted. After 3 years in hospital- it's bloody good to be free, the novelty hasn't yet worn off. I can do things on my own time and go where I want, to see who I want. But, well, there bits I miss. I miss knowing, on bad days, that at least through my starving, there is less and less of me to hate, every day. I miss being tiny. I miss my bodysize speaking the words 'I'm struggling' without me having to qualify it with words. I miss looking as bad as I feel, really, as sscrewed up as that is.

It's really, really easy to romanticise even the worst of times, and I think that's what I'm doing. I would far rather have to reach out for help and describe how I feel on bad days, than constantly be having bad days through illness. I nearly died. The thing I am romanticising nearly killed me. Maybe the reason you can't pick and choose bits of recovery is because recovery is inherently good. Maybe I'm just not used to being nice to myself, allowing me to have the good. Maybe, just maybe, I'm absolutely fine, exactly where I am now.

1 comment:

  1. Rebecca I think being nice to yourself is never easy... I know it has to be a lot harder when we see ourselves differently then we are. I had to learn to love my body even though I am not at a weight that I think is good... however; I am healthier than I have ever been in my life. It's a continuous battle not to beat myself up though. Truthfully we are so much harder on ourselves than we are on each other ... xox ♡