Being Perfect

I'm scheduled to return to the hospital tomorrow, to formally begin treatment for my eating disorder. I'm so scared, frightened, and nervous. What will it be like? Will I fit in there? Will the other girls like me? Will I be cooperative with the staff and doctors? Will I be able to finish all my food? Will I do well in therapy?

It's a new start for me. I guess it's a good thing that I'll be starting treatment early. Studies have shown that the earlier the treatment, the better the outcomes. But something inside of me is crying and hurting. The pain of not being home anymore. The sorrow of not going to school with all of my friends. The loneliness that I will feel.

I suppose that is what recovery is all about: going through tough moments before the good comes. But it's ever so difficult to keep your head held high, to keep working even when you feel like giving up. I am the type of person that demands perfection from myself - a trait that most people with anorexia have. With that in mind, you can imagine how hard it is when I make mistakes or don't do something completely right. I get down very hard on myself, blaming myself for not being able to be 100% perfect. So, what happens if I mess up in my treatment? What if I break down and cry in therapy, or spend hours screaming because I feel fat? What happens when I gain weight and my clothes no longer fit? In other words, what happens as I continue on my journey in recovery, feel the pain and face the obstacles, and feel like giving up?

There is no easy answer. In the end, it comes down to this: I can't be perfect. No matter how hard I try, no matter what I do, perfectionism is impossible for anyone to achieve. I have to learn that it is okay to make mistakes - that I am not a superhero and that I have my own limitations and weaknesses. It's so hard to admit, but it is the truth.

With the acknowledgement that I am not perfect (and that no one is!), recovery becomes slightly easier. I can start to become comfortable with the fact that it is okay to make mistakes. That recovery will not always be a smooth path - on the contrary, it will have many bumps and curves along the way. But with my eye on my goal, I think I can make it. I have tons of support (thanks guys!), love, and care. And I have God on my side.

"For nothing is impossible with God" (Luke 1:37).

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