Monday, 12 December 2016

What is recovery?

It's been, wow, almost a month since I last posted. That's because I've been really low and I just can't bear to be too honest about how I'm feeling when how I'm feeling isn't good. I used to only really post when things were going tits up and then neglect my blog for more exciting things when my mood was up. Now, I want only to be as positive as I can be on here, because I know it's important to give people an idea of what recovery is like, and why it's worth striving for.

The thing is, though, the lows are as important a part of recovery as the more level moments are. Nobody wants to say it. Recovery is meant to be really spectacular, but it's more like, right, a constant stream of 'why aren't I happy? Why isn't this really fun? Why isn't my smile as bright as her's? Am I really in recovery? Is this all that recovery is? Is it worth it?' and on. And on. And on.

Truth is, I doubt myself far more now than I ever did in the grips of my eating disorder. When all I had to worry about was my weight, I could block out all other noise. It was miserable and I was alone and I would rather die than go back, but at least I understood my purpose. As long as every day I continued chipping away at all that I was, both literally and figuratively, I knew what I was doing.

The problem, of course, with blocking out all external noise is that you miss out on the good, too. I was fine with that, because it was worth it to block out the bad. I'm a lot more open now, to the good and the bad, but it all feels so very precarious. Like I could fall apart at any moment. I was broken before and I knew it, whereas now I'm constantly arguing with myself over whether I'll ever be whole again, if I can ever be fixed.

I think, maybe, once we're broken we can never be put back the way we were again. We can just be rebuilt in another way. I'll never be the person I might have been, the person who'd never started making myself sick- the first of my ED behaviours- those 18 years ago. But I need to put her to bed. No amount of self criticism will ever produce what was never to be.

Maybe it's those moments of begging for death that make you stronger, because you know that whatever happens, you've survived the rockiest of rock bottoms. Maybe they make you weaker, because you're always afraid of falling back to that place. Maybe it doesn't matter.

And so, now. I'm clawing my way back out of the dark place I was in. I'd like to think these long blogging holidays- if you can call what just went on, that- will cease, but that's about the one thing I don't doubt. I know I'll keep falling apart. But I know I'll keep putting myself back together, in a million different ways. And that, I think, is what recovery is.