But I’m Not Ready Yet
“There is never a sudden revelation, a complete and tidy explanation for why it happened, or why it ends, or why or who you are. It comes in bits and pieces, and you stitch them together wherever they fit, and when you are done you hold yourself up, and still there are holes and you are a rag doll, invented, imperfect. And yet you are all that you have, so you must be enough. There is no other way.” ~ Marya Hornbacher
I’ve been using this quote a lot lately, for various reasons and people, including myself. It’s a quote that has helped me out a lot, and it takes a lot for a quote to do that. It’s a reminder for me that sometimes you can’t wait until you want to change to go ahead and change. Sometimes, you’ve just gotta dive in and, to complete the cliched analogy, completely submerge yourself in the process of change. When you jump in the pool, you jump in with the faith that you’ll pop back up to the surface, that you’ll legs will kick and your arms will reach, and that your head will break the surface and you can breathe again. But there’s always that second when you’re kicking and reaching and you’re just not there yet and there’s that touch of panic that you won’t get there in time. And then you get there.
Recovering from an eating disorder is often much the same way. You just have to jump in. No waiting for the perfect temperature. No dipping your toes in first and testing the waters. Sometimes, our bodies are ready–they need–recovery before our mind is ready. The starvation, the binging, the purging, the overexercise has taken its toll and your body screams “ENOUGH!!!” and you end up in the ER or you keep getting sick all the time or you’re just plain exhausted to the point of weakness. You can’t afford to wait for some big revelation to come to say, “Okay. I’m ready for recovery now.” If you wait that long, your body may give out completely. Sometimes, you just have to accept treatment with the blind faith that the motivation and desire will come, that you’ll make it through the initial stages of discomfort and pain and anxiety and that you’ll break the surface of the water in time to breathe again.
My decision to recover came as a result of lots of small realizations. There was no one moment that made me change, and in the beginning of the process, I wasn’t sure I was doing the right thing. I wanted the old, reliable, familiar, eating disorder. I didn’t want the anxiety and the pain of dealing with all the shit that was going on in my head as a result of getting treatment and not acting on symptoms. But I stuck with it, because I was tired of being The Sick Girl. I had no idea how not to be that person, but I knew I was exhausted. As the months went on and I continued accepting the help that was offered, more and more realizations happened that told me that recovery was what I wanted. That it was what I needed.
If you are struggling, go ahead and dive in to recovery and seek help. I don’t care if you’ve had the eating disorder for years or for weeks. An eating disorder can kill at any stage of illness. You may not be at your ‘thinnest” or your “sickest” but the eating disorder doesn’t care about such trivialities. You deserve to be free of this hell. You can be free. Go ahead and dive in and kick and reach and fight your way to the surface. The air you’ll breathe without the eating disorder is the purest air you’ll have ever taken in.