I've been asked many times if I consider myself recovered.
The short answer is, no. I do not think that I am fully recovered. However, I am IN recovery.
It does not sound like there is big difference between the two. But there is...
Saying that I am recovered is like saying that this is all over. That ED is completely gone, and that I am like a 'normal' person who has never ever had anorexia.
But that is not the case. I still have thoughts that try to sway me over to restrict, to hate myself, or to not eat. I still have moments when my self-esteem is very low and where I wish that I could be as thin as I used to be.
That is why I am IN recovery. To me, recovery is not as desintation. It is more of a lifelong adventure. It is not somwhere that I will arrive and then 'be done with it'. It is something that I need to work on for the rest of my life. I do not starve myself or restrict food, but I still do not feel hungry. I still do not really enjoy eating like others do. In this way, recovery is something that I need to do for my entire lifetime. I need to keep working on it, each day getting stronger and stronger. I'm learning new things about recovery each day. For example, yesterday someone said a rude comment to me regarding my body size. In the older days, this would have caused me to restrict and not eat. As angry and sad as I was, I did not do this. I still ate. I was angry, but I ate. I did not give in to ED.
There are still things I am uncomfortable with. I hate when my clothes feel tighter. I hate looking in the mirror and seeing myself bigger than I used to be. I still have no appetite. I get uncomfortable when people remind me that I am eating a lot.
This is why recovery is a lifelong adventure. There are ups and downs. There are times when I am strong, and times when I feel weak. There are moments when ED is not there, and there are others when his voice creeps back in. Recovery is better seen as a job - I know that this sounds tiresome, but it is true. It is what I do. My wages for recovery are the improvements in my health and life. The hard work I do in recovery is part of my job. But the rewards are worth every struggle, every tear, and every fight.
Each day in recovery makes me aware of how much work recovery is. It takes a lot out of a person to recover from ED. It is truly a full-time job. But it is made so much easier when you have readers that read your blog and comment, show their support, and make you feel loved. It helps when you have a family that is willing to be there for you 24/7. It is humbling to know that you have a God who watches over you every second. It is empowering to see yourself tranforming into a stronger and knowledgable person.
Recovery is definitely not a desintation. It is an adventure. But it is an adventure that I would never give up on. Because each day in recovery helps me realize how much of my life I deserve to get back.