I am discharging from residential and entering into outpatient treatment as of this Tuesday. Though I am extremely nervous, I feel so much more equipped and prepared than my first discharge. I now understand that recovery outside of treatment is not going to be easy or linear. It is going to be an uphill battle and a decision that I must commit to every morning when I wake up. As much as I would like it to be, it won’t be comfortable. At least for now I must live with that reality, and battle Ed everyday.
It’s funny because though I was quite reluctant to come back, reflecting upon my time here I think my second stay in residential will be essential to my recovery. I realized a lot of things, and I sorted out some core beliefs that I hold very close to my heart and that have been a barrier to my recovery.
That of the utmost importance would be my deeply held belief that without my eating disorder, I will be lazy and worthless. Essentially, without the mask of Ed I will amount to nothing and have no motivation to do anything at all in life. This core belief permeates my mind and my thoughts everyday. “Walk those few extra steps”, it says, “or you are giving into the laziness”. “Do not sit down on the couch, you are not worthy of the couch.”
And so, I have adjusted my life accordingly to appease the voice. I never sit on the couch, I never take time to rest, and I maximize my steps in everyway that I can. My conclusion? That is no longer the way I want to live. I would like to live and move intuitively, always with the intent to keep by body happy and active but not to exhaust. In order to reach this goal, I have to continually work on my core belief. I have to take care of myself and reassure myself that I will not be lazy without Ed, and I will still be able to achieve my goals in life without an eating disorder. In fact, those goals will be immensely easier to achieve without the eating disorder holding me back.
It is something to keep in the forefront of my mind everyday. Giving myself time to rest is essential. Endless days of constant movement and exercise is not the life I want to live. I need to find a balance between activity and downtime, movement and rest. A lifestyle that will enrich and fulfill me, rather than exhaust and depress me. Choosing this kind of life does not mean I am lazy. Now I just need to prove that to myself.