This post is for Eliza following her request earlier today. Check out her blog https://elizajourneythroughlife.home.blog/.
I’ve written a number of posts about living with and overcoming from an eating disorder. Today I want to talk about living in recovery. I’ve been recovered for about 10 years now. It’s different in so many ways. One of them is having the ability to actively choose to self-soothe with food without going in a full relapse.
Shortly after my mother died I had a stressful day that pushed me to my emotional limits. Grief, stress, and worry weighed on me. One of those days where everything goes wrong and nothing helps relieve it. I’d used every coping skill in my arsenal. I thought about how much I just wanted a piece of cake. I went through the mental gymnastics of how it wouldn’t really make it better and all the reasons why. I ultimately decided that the piece of cake wasn’t going to kill me and I’d literally used every single skill. Exhausted, I went to the grocery store and bought that slice of cake. With the first bite I felt the weight of the world start to slip away. I needed comfort. In that moment, I decided that the comfort I needed was a piece of cake.
I didn’t slip into relapse and eat more or do the same the next day. I was satisfied. The mental obsession didn’t kick in. I didn’t feel guilty or shame for the cake. I’d successfully eaten A PIECE of cake and gone back to normal.
This particular event shaped what living in recovery looks like for me. It’s when I realized that I was recovered and had developed a healthy relationship with food and my body. Full recovery from complex eating disorders is possible. I’m living proof.