1. May 2014 by swissfitchick
Reflection is a good thing. Looking back can be harmful or frustrating, but it can also be encouraging. Especially if you make progress.
Recovering from an Eating Disorder that lasted more or less 18 years is a very ambitious goal. The ones out there who struggle or struggled with the same know exactly what I am talking about. It’s no game. It’s no fun. It sucks, it’s hard. It needs endless patience, determination and you fall 10000x and you have to get up and look at your face in the mirror – which you probably hate at that moment. You feel like a failure for so many days and nights and you spend moments in hopelessness and despair. I don’t know how many times I wanted to give up. I sometimes felt like my Eating Disorder would EAT me. It would kill me. I was sure I would die one day because of this monster that took over the auto pilot of my life, body and soul.
Is there a reasonable alternative to moving on? To making steps forward? To stop complaining? To stop bathing in self-pitty? To accept help?
Yes, I could have stayed in the place where I was forever. I could have go on bingeing and purging, starving, gulping down pills, running for hours, skipping social life in favor of my Eating Disorder. I could have gone on whining about the diagnose of bulimia and that I am a sick person and that it isn’t my fault. That I am the slave of this disease and that there is nothing I can change about it. I made a decision one day – in March 2012. I decided to NOT be a bulimic anymore. I decided to NOT being a disordered eater anymore.
To come where I am today took me years. MANY years. And it called for intense effort, a LOT of work and dedication. And I still have a lot of work to do.
From this moment of decision on until today I made baby steps. Every single day. One little tiny progress per day, day by day. Oh, and I fell. So many times. I had relapses, I had awful weeks, I battled anxieties, depression and fears, I felt horrible so many times, I was terrified of my own courage, I had panic attacks and I felt like a failure. But I never gave up. And I still don’t. Now 5 weeks ago I was hit by the sad side of life and I have to go through a break up at the moment. It is a tough time in my life and I am riding an emotional rollercoaster – not as much as in the beginning anymore but still with a good amount of bumps. Normally, this was the perfect reason to binge. Or to starve. Just to do anything that was obsessive and had to do with body image, food and self-worth.
Nothing like that happened. I cried. And then I danced. I talked to and hugged my friends. I went for killer workouts – not obessive but ‘cleaning’. I drank too much champagne – because I had fun and not because I was desperate. I ate too much chocolate – because I wanted to treat myself and not because I was sad. I worked a lot – because it gave me strength and energy and not because I had to punish myself. Yes, I looked puffy and I walked around with tear-stained eyes – oh well, sometimes life just isn’t glamorous. BUT – there was no day in these past weeks when I had a relapse of my Eating Disorder. Baby Steps take you to where you want to be. Don’t expect wonders, but take the baby steps. The progress you make like this, will last forever. They create magic.
You might not realize daily progress. On some days you might even think that you took a step backward. But that’s not true. Once you started a journey, you can always go forward – relapses and break downs are only part of the process. They are needed, they are the reason why you grow stronger, wiser, smarter and persistent.
What defines us in the end is how well we rise after falling.
I am not there yet. Is there a THERE? We can always learn and improve. The main thing is that we are HAPPY WHILE we are making progress.
My journey will go on forever and I will get stronger and only stronger. I experience results, mentally and physically and this makes me want to strive for more. It makes me want to inspire others. It makes me want to never stop going forward, being positive, living life to the fullest and smile. Smile every day.
Yes, you might get the crazy smiling wrinkles like I have, but believe me that’s a good sign! 🙂