Thursday, August 21, 2014
A Year of Healing
As a man and my husband and the sole person in this world who loves me the most, he immediately started trying to think of what he could do, and what we could do. As it turns out, maintaining an eating disorder starts to suck the life out of every other aspect of your being. I was really starting to see the effects of my actions on my family's life, and the shame and embarrassment and disappointment I felt in myself was insurmountable. One of the most basic of all human needs, fueling my body, was nearly impossible to me. I couldn't mentally make myself first eat, and then keep it down. Every day was a battle. And I was a wife and a mom. I had people depending on me every day! All I wanted to do was live every day in peace with my little Milo, while this whole huge piece of my life was spiraling out of control. It was clear that I had to figure a way out of this dark hole in order to live the beautiful life I had right in front of me.
Addiction Recovery Program through our church. We would leave all the doors open at all times. No fans on that could block noise. We would go to sleep at the same time every night. We would stay together as much as possible. I started keeping a food journal and making sure I was eating enough calories to be healthy, and keeping every last one of them down. Thinking about it now, it's crazy how stringent these actions seemed but how completely necessary they really were. But all I could think about was what was at stake and how desperately I needed to get healthy for my family.
Those first days of recovery and cleansing, every hour felt like an eternity. My digestive system was shot. I felt bloated and huge anytime I ate and kept it down. It was miserable. I would regularly break into a sweat of anxiety knowing that I had to keep everything down. I went to sleep feeling gigantic every night, all because I wasn't starving. I only ate foods that I had labeled in my head as "safe". It's such a testament to how skewed my thinking had really become. I would take naps every day with Milo just to escape having to focus on it for a while. Literally every minute I had to keep myself in check, remind myself that I was doing what was best for my body, and tell myself that this was so much better than the alternative.
It took a while, a few months even. But once I finally let myself be "normal", or at least a version of it, for a period of time, the sensitivity of the nerve started to dull. I would go hours without being preoccupied, and then days. But I noticed that as soon as I had a good run and got lax in my focus, I'd start to struggle again. So I'd reset. And remember to keep it in my head every day again. I've come to realize that part of recovering from an addiction is the fact that somewhere inside of me, anorexia and bulimia will always be a part of me, but hopefully only for the sole purpose of helping me remember the pain and live healthy.