Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Everlasting Plateau

Usually, recovery is a rollercoaster--full of ups and downs, curves and upside down spirals. We hear this. We know this. We understand this. It makes sense. There is, however, a lesser known part of recovery I call the plateau.

The plateau is what really tests your patience. It's a time during recovery when everything is moving along in the same way--not getting worse but not getting better--for a very long time. It makes recovery almost feel...stale.

It gets that impatience raging.

It makes you wonder if there is a better place in sight or if you've reached your peak.

Well, let me tell you right now--you haven't. The plateau is good in a lot of ways, because you're not constantly worried about setbacks. You're not preoccupied with slipping up. You're not solely focused on keeping your life on track day by day by day. You've made it somewhere. You've made definite progress. You're doing okay.

Yet...

Each day now seems the same. You're okay, but you're not great. You don't feel free. And the worst part of it is nothing's changing. No matter how much you push and try, you feel the same day after day. And you wonder, what gives? Is THIS what I've been working for?

NO.

It'll come. It's coming. You're getting there. You just can't see it with the naked eye. But if you compare day 55 to day 88 you'll see a definite difference. Know what I mean? It's imperceptible on a daily basis, but it's happening.

The plateau is not fun. But it's stable. And that's a blessing. Trust me. It's anything amazing, but let me tell you, it's a far cry from being immersed in an eating disorder every moment of every day. And at the end of that long stretch of plateau...when you get there...is a slide. And all you're gonna have to do is get on and zoom right into freedom. No more mountains to climb. No more holes to jump over. Just a slide. And sure, some hills may spring up here and there after you've slid into freedom... but when you're living sweet freeeeedom a little hill here and there is totally do-able. ;)

Wait it out. The plateau gives way. You're not done yet! There's more to come!

4 comments:

Cammy said...

Thanks for this post, I needed to read something like this. I am definitely in a plateau stage right now, I've made progress but am still not quite brave enough to go "the whole nine yards," so I've been at about the same stage for months. Your insight, as usual, hits home, thanks.

Anonymous said...

Well, I was on a bit of a plateau but it was too good to be true. Puked 3 times yesterday *sigh*.

Arielle Bair (Becker) said...

Cammy- you're welcome. Congrats on reaching a place that isn't full of potholes and falls though. :) Take what you can get for now and the rest will come. Thanks for reading!


Anonymous- Having that setback doesn't mean you're starting over from scratch. It doesn't discount all you've accomplished thus far. It doesn't wash it away. We're all fallible. Remember that. And tomorrow is a new day. Best of luck and thanks for reading. Don't be too hard on yourself.

Much love,
Arielle

licketysplit said...

I can't wait! I'm definitely at the plateau stage myself...