Surfacing After Silence

Life. After.

and thus it ends

Fides and Spes

While walking yesterday and while driving today, I came up with a few thoughts.  This whole “definition” thing has gotten way out of hand.  What started as a “hey, I’m back and here’s where I stand” type of thing has turned into me attempting to prove to other people that I am who I am, or that I am who I am where I am.

It would be easy to say, “don’t listen to people who are critical.”  But it’s not all that easy to follow through on, because it comes down to people–some of whom know me personally and some of whom told me how inspirational I was for seeking help–not believing me and, in some cases, attacking me for it.  So yes, I felt the need to try to explain myself.

Let me use a fairly common example for people who have ever been in treatment for an eating disorder.  At one place I was treated (my favorite place, by the way, and the place I received the most help), there were repercussions if you did not “make weight” in the morning (if you were on a weight gain plan).  These involved taking away a number of privileges, one of which was you were not allowed to shower that morning because the staff wanted to make sure you were not exercising while in the shower.  I don’t know how many times I heard people cry out, including myself, “But I ate everything and drank my supplements yesterday and sat on my ass all day.  It’s not my fault.  Go ahead and watch me take a shower, but I am NOT exercising.”  There was this self-righteous anger at not being believed when we were doing everything “right.”

Or if you’re outpatient and you know you followed your meal plan and didn’t binge or purge but your weight does something funky, the finger is automatically pointed at you and what you must have done “wrong.”

So yes.  I wanted (want) people to believe me.  And while one person has said he/she knows me in real life and still thinks I’m a hypocrite, there are some people who have never met me telling me I’m in denial.  I’d really like those people to talk to my treatment team–all four members–and argue their case against me.

I’ve kept my tongue in check through a lot of this when certain people have questioned me.  And I will continue to do so.  But here ends me attempting to prove I’m recovered to people who don’t really want to listen.

I’m recovered.  Deal with it.


March 11, 2010 - Posted by | Eating Disorders, identity, recovery | , , , , , , , , ,


  1. hell.yes.

    Comment by Marisa | March 11, 2010 | Reply

  2. I have run into some of this same critisim Lexi, and I want you to know, that I believe you. Try and keep in mind that what others think is not what really matters (although I know it can be painful, hurtful, and bothersome to hear). What does matter is that you know you are in recovery or recovered and doing everything you can to lead an amazing life and be true to yourself. We have all been through times when we have lied to those who were saying we weren’t followin our plan or so forth, and it’s hard for others to regain the trust that those times have taken away. I’ve also found that often, when people critisize me for not being in recovery when I know I am, that it is really just their own insecurities or jealousy acting as a filter to what they see or think. Hang in there and just keep being truthful with yourself!

    Comment by Nikita | March 11, 2010 | Reply

  3. Amen! I totally agree with R.K.G’s really well-said comment on your previous post, “Maybe some people feel you are in denial because they have not felt that same solid confidence in their own recovery that you have.”

    Comment by anon | March 11, 2010 | Reply

  4. To Nikita and Anon: I have often thought the people who are saying I’m in denial are either insecure about where they are at in their journeys toward recover or that that have never felt what full recovery feels like and thus can’t imagine what it feels like to be back there after a brief pause.

    and come on, folks, how much briefer could it have been?

    Comment by surfacingaftersilence | March 11, 2010 | Reply

  5. I guess I’m just too chicken to call myself “Recovered”. Using your definition’s I most likely am. I’m just so afraid that it’s going to come back and hit me full again and drag me down. Totaly unrealistic but I keep on worrying that I’ll wake up and be the same way I was when I started treatement 2 years ago.

    I just read over the stuff that people commented to you and what you wrote. I just don’t see it. You did what you needed to do. That doesn’t mean your not recovered. If you were not recovered you would not have been able to get the help you needed at that time.

    You’ve got me really close to calling myself recovered. I’ll have to think about it. I can eat anything I want, I’m ok with where my body is, I don’t just shovel food down my through till I’m sick anymore. I do have some coping skills. No I’m still not brave enough to call myself recovered. I’ll get there.

    Comment by David | March 11, 2010 | Reply

  6. I think it’s hard for a lot of people to believe there is such a thing as being recovered. We’ve all heard that the ED will follow you throughout your life. Whether that’s true or not, it’s hard for some to imagine someone who was tied to it, and isn’t any more.

    Same goes for body image. When a woman says she loves her body, how many people actually believe her?

    Comment by Jen | March 11, 2010 | Reply

  7. I giveyou a lot of credit for usingthe word “recovered” as i will never use it. I think this is a process that keeps going, and given that there is no cure there is no past tense to it, like our hearts. I will forever be recovering becuase it is a chronic disease.

    Comment by kate | March 11, 2010 | Reply

  8. I couldn’t disagree more with Kate. I consider myself Recovered with a capital R. It is no longer a process for me to take care of myself. I believe there is a cure and I worked hard to find it. Do I love my body? Not all of it. (I happen to love me legs.) But I don’t hate my body either. I don’t think about restricting or what I weigh or what I’m going to eat. I’ve been at a healthy weight for a long time and I’m confident in who I am and what I can do with my life. The eating disorder is no longer there, at all.
    And just in case anyone thinks I must have had a less severe eating disorder, let me just say I had been sick for 20 years before I started to turn my life around. I was a chronic patient-in and out of treatment programs all over the place. I have a heart condition as a result of the anorexia. But I am, most definitely Recovered.
    I feel sure Lexie is there too. Judge not, please.

    Comment by annon | March 11, 2010 | Reply

    • Thanks for this comment annon. It always makes me feel sad when people call an eating disorder a chronic condition. I think doctors do great great harm when saying we will have it with us in some form for the rest of our lives. It takes away a great deal of hope. When I decided to get better, I knew I wasn’t going to settle for that because I figured what’s the point? If I was going to get better, I was going to get BETTER.

      Yes, I still have some after-effects of the illness that will never go away since these illnesses wreak havoc on the body. But to me it is in the past.

      Comment by surfacingaftersilence | March 12, 2010 | Reply

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