What does Recovery look like?

You're probably staring at this title and thinking, 'OBVIOUSLY recovery means that you are not a little twig anymore'. Well, in one way, you are right. Being recovered means that I will no longer look like the skeleton I looked like in April 2012. It means that I will begin to have a normal body - one suitable for my age, height, gender, etc. It means that my body will be healthy.

But recovery is so much more than just the physical changes. Mentally, recovery means that I will be able to eat food without feeling guilty after every meal or snack. It means that my appetite will return, and that I will actually enjoy eating - just like everyone else does. Recovery entails blocking ED's voice out, especially when he tells me that I am fat or lazy for eating. Or when he tells me that I should feel terrible for nourishing my body.

Emotionally, recovery means that I will feel better - happier, safer, and more at peace. I will not feel as if the world is judging me based on what my weight or body shape is. It means that I can look in the mirror and like what I see - or at least accept that this is my body. It means not feeling anxious before, after, or during meals. Recovering from ED means that I will no longer feel depressed or sad about the things that ED tells me (You are so fat. You have gained so much weight. You are hideous. You are powerless and useless).

Socially, recovery means that I will be more prepared to be around others. I will not be concerned that they will call me fat or tease me about my weight. I will not be worried if there is food in a gathering because I will know how to handle it. I will be able to go out with others and have a good time - without letting ED tag along for the party.

Spiritually, recovery means that I will realize that my body belongs to Christ. That it is not mine; it is a gift that I must take care of, before returning it to the Lord. It means that I will cherish and take care of my body the way God intended. I will shut ED out as my master and welcome Jesus to fill my heart with His peace and comfort.

In general, recovering from ED means that I will be free. I will be free to eat when my body tells me that it needs energy. I will feel free to laugh, to smile, to enjoy my life. I will feel safe to be around others. I will be able to look into the mirror, and for once, appreciate the body that God has given me. I can stand proud and be confident in my abilities and talents - and not focus on my weight and shape. I can block ED's voice and ignore his ruthless demands. I can be the independent young woman that God wants me to be - independent of ED and his lies.

So, what does recovery look like?

Well, to put one word on it: FREEDOM.

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