Surfacing After Silence

Life. After.

Jar of Hearts (how the f@(* did I do this?)


One of my facebook friends pointed this video/song out to me recently.  I love it.  And I want to dye my hair like she does.  But right now, half of my hair is purple, so that will have to wait.

In a recent post, someone basically asked, How the fuck did I manage to stay in recovery during the initial stages.  And this video say s a lot of about how I did that.  No, I wasn’t trying to avoid a lover.  Or was I?  An abusive lover, for sure.  One who made so many promises–that if I ate this and exercised this much–the world would be mine.  And in the end, none of those promises came true, life become something that happened around me not to me or with me, and my heart was broken (on many levels).

The way I stayed in recovery early on was a daily struggle.  In some respects, it was harder than decided to recover, because now I actually had to do the work, face the world, and deal with all the inside voices telling me “to just go back and it will be easier.”  I had to remind myself several times a day of why I was fighting so hard to regain life.  A full life, not a partial life.  I had a list, an actual written down list, that reminded me of these reasons.  Sometimes I rewrote these reasons in my journal.  Sometimes I doodled them in the margins of my notes when I was in class.  I kept pictures of the people important to me in my journal, which is always with me.  I wanted to keep the strands tethering me to life as close as possible.

the following stanza of this song seems fitting:

And it took so long just to feel alright
Remember how to put back the light in my eyes
I wish I had missed the first time that we kissed
Cause you broke all your promises
And now you’re back
You don’t get to get me back

In the beginning of recovery, I didn’t feel “all right.”  I felt like hell.  It took a long time to get to the “okay” stage, and then it took time to get the light back in my eyes.  I’ll admit, there are times when life seems hard–too hard, too painful, too overwhelming, just too much–and I want that romance back, but I really do wish that I had never kissed this eating disorder, that we had never met, that I could have avoided so much pain and suffering and hell.    Sometimes the eating disorder creeps in with its false promises, but I keep reminding myself that there is no way that the eating disorder is going to get me back.  I get me back.

In the beginning, I made myself a promise–to do recovery 100% for one full year, and if I didn’t “like it” by the end, or find it worthwhile, I could always go back.  I realize a year is a difficult time span to consider.  But how about a month?  Or a week?  Or a day?  Do it on your terms, based on what you can handle.  Remember, no one is forcing recovery on you.  It’s your choice.  (Which in and of itself was a freeing thing for me, since I felt the eating disorder was not a choice.  So I finally felt like I had the power and control.)

Make a list of every single thing you want to recover for.  Big things, little things, random silly things.  Make a list of everything that you will lose by going back to the eating disorder.  You have had to give up so much up until this point.  Don’t give up any more.  We want you here, giving us all that you have to offer the world.  I know you have something to offer.  You may not believe it, but I know it to be true.  We all have a gift to give to this world.  Give yourself a chance to shine.  Don’t let anyone else have your heart.  Claim it as your own.


December 1, 2010 - Posted by | coping, Eating Disorders, identity, recovery | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. I am at the point where I am sick of myself. I am sick of the eating disorder. Maybe the right word is I am BORED. I am BORED of having an eating disorder- it is not longer exciting.exhilirating or thrilling and I realize more and more how it does not make me anymore special of a person. At the same time I am bored with who I “might be” without my eating disorder. I am bored with an eating disorder life and I am bored when there is no eating disorder crisis. How does this make sense?

    On another note, I did exactly as you did when I admitted myself to Renfrew IP. I told myself after a month of resistance and trying that I would just DO IT- for as long as I needed to be there and then when I got out if I wanted too I could always go back. So I was there for 3 in a half months and chose to stay and mostly abide by the rules. I left and continued to do so with that reminder that I could always go back. Problem is- I always go back- how do I NOT go back. Sorry I am in a bit of a freak out mode.

    Comment by Jessica | December 1, 2010 | Reply

    • Have you made a list of all the things you are recovering for? And a list of all the things you will lose if you go back to the eating disorder? And even if you have made such lists, when was the last time you did them? I found that for me, my reasons would change from time to time–and there’d be NEW reasons for me to recover and I’d see MORE things that I’d lose if I were to relapse. So put any old lists away and write new ones today.

      Comment by surfacingaftersilence | December 2, 2010 | Reply

  2. one of the girls i was in treatment with wrote wrote recently that “Freedom is being able to make tough choices, and not having others make them for you”.

    and that really resonated with me. it is not nice, not fun, and not liberating or free in any way to be forced into things.

    but we have a choice. and that is freedom.

    Comment by redeemedandfree | December 1, 2010 | Reply

  3. this is one of my favorite songs! you should look up the So You Think You Can Dance episode where a dance was done to the song. It was beautiful. I never thought to compare the lyrics to recovery, so that’s an interesting concept..

    Comment by Coco | December 2, 2010 | Reply

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