I think I’m starting to get it now. A depth of understanding. This stuff takes time and I now realise the enduring patience that’s required for a therapist to wait out the shifting and layers of understanding that evolves slowly for recovery to happen.
I need to recover from my eating disorder at this heavier weight.
I had this ideal (delusion) that I could recover from these disordered thoughts and behaviours while I had abs of steel and an athletic body fat percentage. I still wasn’t overjoyed and loving my body but I thought, I could deal with looking like this and not be disordered about it, ignoring the fact that it took disordered for my life and body to stay there. The thing that has been stopping me coming to accept this need for recovery at a heavier weight, is that I was participating in disordered behaviours to also arrive at this heavier weight. Emotional eating, some binge eating, purging sneaks in here now too. So to accept this weight and do the necessary actions to be non disordered just seemed like such a contradiction. Like its ok to be disordered on this end of the scale but not the other? But that’s not it either because the disordered goal is on the low side. The disordered goal is finding lowest possible weight, becoming the smallest size I can be. The shame drives me to lower myself, the disgust drives me to be thinner.
I am only just realising it is letting go of this goal that I can make real progress. My therapist has always said that losing weight and recovery are in opposition to each other. I cannot have a foot in both camps. This is only making real sense to me now.
I have previously had a lot of progress and the goal was easier to let go of when I was close to it. That’s really only surface recovery.
Now I’m further away, it’s harder in a different way, but it’s where real recovery is to be found. It’s in opposition to how society feels about eating disorders. Friends, family, support people… When they see you are heavier or eating more or exercising less they think you are fine now, that it’s easier now. It is not. This is the worst part and I don’t even know how to tell them. I’m hurting so much and cannot use the ED to cope. The ED steals your voice and so this makes it so difficult for the person to express what it’s like. Not just what the ED is like, but recovery too.
Support people, I advise you if you have someone in your life that has an ED and you really want to help, get your own education on how to support. There are so many myths and mistaken perceptions surrounding eating disorders that you are probably looking through this lens at the situation. You can ignore it or think you don’t have to do anything to help (it’s all up to the person to get better perhaps?) but know if your loved one had a condition that results in non functioning legs, it’s like not offering them a hand to move because that’s the doctors job. You might perhaps do some reading on the condition and ask the doctor what the person would go through and how you could help. Ask their therapist, get therapy yourself or join a support group depending on what you or your loved one need.
Recovery is possible right? It’s got to be.
It’s just not what it seems. Appearances are deceiving.