Surfacing After Silence

Life. After.

Full Recovery


I believe in full recovery.  There.  I said it.  I also believe that I have achieved full recovery.  There.  It’s out in the open. 

I know there’s a debate about this.  Some people feel very strongly that you can never fully recover from an eating disorder.  But for me, that belief was never good enough.  Once I started fighting for recovery, I wondered what was the point of fighting if I couldn’t beat the damn disease once and for all?  Partial recovery, or even recovery without the “full” in front of it, was just not good enough of a reason to fight.  I wanted full recovery, damnit, and I was going to do whatever it took to get there.

So my life must be perfect, right?  I mean, no eating disorder, so my mind must be like that field that Edward and Bella revisit time and again in Twilight:  full of pretty white flowers and lots of sunshine and nothing to do but lie down and relax and hold hands with your love.  (Yes, I just cited Twilight. My soul is twitching.) 

No, my mind is not perfect.  I am still Bipolar.  My life has its ups and downs and this previous winter was a particularly hellish down.  I have also struggled with self-harm since I was in junior high, and those urges still rear their ugly mean little ghost heads at me and I have to fight to silence their voices.  And yes, I have “issues” from my past that I am dealing with.

Oh, and if you’ve read my previous entries, you’ll probably be wondering what right I have to say I’m fully recovered if I still am having negative thoughts about weight and body image. 

I admit that right now my body image is not perfect.  But wait a second–what the hell does perfect body image look like?  We live in a society where women, and increasingly men, are expected to hate their bodies from the time they put on their first leotard at age three for that cute little dance class.  Advertisements portray only certain bodies.  Magazine articles are all about losing weight and flattening your flab. Even pregnant women are now criticized for having a “baby bump.”  (As to that last one, I say, “What the fuck?!”) 

I’m not 100% happy with my body right now.  But neither do I hate it with a vengeance and have fantasies about slicing off “problem areas” with sharp knives.  I don’t have fantasies about restricting.  I don’t even have fantasies about exercising to the point of complete exhaustion.  And I am not obsessing about my weight 24/7.  

I live a full life now.  One not ruled by obsessive thoughts about changing the body I was given.  I have health concerns that I am addressing with support from my treatment team.  But I’m not spending each and every waking  moment thinking, writing, and talking about weight, size, exercise, or body issues.  I spend my time thinking about the classes I’m teaching, the essays I’m writing, the hats I’m knitting, the friends I’m spending time with, the cats I love to itty bitty pieces, my wonderful and supportive family, and lots of other things that make up a full life.  Having intermittent thoughts about being dissatisfied with my body does not take away from my recovery.  I kind of think that I’m just normal now.

I really and truly believe that full recovery is possible.  That the thoughts behind the eating disorder can go away.  That the obsessions can disappear.  That the desires can fade.  If you set your sights on living fully and freely, this is all in your reach.  Yes, it’s hard as hell to get there, but I’ve never done anything in my life that is worth as much to me as recovery has been. 

I am fully recovered.  I am also human.

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August 27, 2013 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , ,

2 Comments »

  1. Amen. I also believe in full recovery and believe that I am fully recovered. I still have days that I’m not 100% satisfied with my body, but it just doesn’t matter as much anymore. It’s a passing thought rather than something that will dictate my entire day. Congrats on recovery 🙂

    Comment by Catherine @ A Two Storey Home | August 28, 2013 | Reply

  2. I just wanted to say thank you for your blog. I don’t have an ED, but I do have my own mental health issues and being able to read about others expereinces and your focus on getting well and staying well is a breeze of fresh air. You give hope to others through this blog and you show that it’s possible to get better, and that their is life after mental illness.

    Comment by Bec | August 31, 2013 | Reply


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