This summer has been the first summer where I have started out in a pretty good place for my eating disorder recovery. I made strides at the beginning of this year on my way to recovery. I am in no way fully recovered. I still have disordered thoughts, but starting the summer I had reached my goal weight. I thought I was going great.
Then things in my life started to change.
School ended and I moved back home. My friends moved back to their homes. My house I lived in single I was five is on the market. Both the support groups I was in ended and my therapist went on a 3-4 month maternity leave.
I felt like all the control I had over my life vanished and for those of you who know anything about eating disorders, you know that they are all about being a coping mechanism and gaining control.
I was not ready for how hard my recovery was about to take a hit. Now, I've really put off writing this. I didn't want to admit I had struggled again, but most important I didn't want my parents to know. Anorexia recovery is one thing I've found easier to do with just my treatment team and I didn't want them to worry or make it into a bigger deal than it was.
Let's get the physical health questions out of the way. I did not lose any weight and I did not start skipping meals again. My entire recovery slip was mental; however, it was strong enough to scare me that a full blown relapse might be around the corner.
Thankfully it only lasted a short time and I'm coming out of it now. But for those maybe two weeks I was bombarded with disordered thoughts in a way I forgot possible. I wanted nothing more than to restrict. Despite being at a healthy weight I didn't like what I had gained and I wanted to lose it.
The thing about having an eating disorder is that when you look in the mirror you don't see what everyone else sees when they look at you. Even when I was underweight I didn't recognize how skinny I had gotten.
Even without all the changes that happened as I entered summer I think I still might have had a slip. In the world we live in today so many people are obsessed with their weight and appearance. Summertime with less clothing and swim suits accentuates this and even for people who don't have an eating disorder or any type of disordered eating, they don't go about losing weight properly. Many (not all) try "quick fix" methods, fad diets, juice cleanses (which lets be honest is basically starving yourself), etc.
As someone in recovery from an eating disorder I have been learned and been taught all about how to eat right, body image, healthy eating, healthy mindsets for body and food, and intuitive eating. It is so difficult though to find people around me who have good, healthy relationships with their body and food.
I get it. I'm not one to judge. I know all the right ways I'm supposed to do things and I still struggle with it. I still want to lose five pounds, but I look forward to the day when I will not care about my weight. When I will be able to say and mean it that numbers on a scale mean nothing to me. At school and when I eventually get my own place I don't have a scale, because obsession over slight fluctuations Day by day was not healthy for me. There are better ways for me to tell my body's health than how many pounds I am.
The world of weight loss and eating disorders scares me because I know how easily an innocent attempt to lose weight can quickly turn into an eating disorder especially for young girls. It is so dangerous. I have seen behind the curtain and there is no wizard there. Just a sharp decline and long road to recovery.