Tuesday, September 8, 2009

On to Question #3...

Eating Alone asked, "You say you're 'recovered', how do you know? And how long did it take?"

This question is similar to Question #1 from Miss Keira, so if you'd like some more elaboration, look here, however, I do have some more words and will certainly respond to the last question regarding length of time.

First, how do I know I'm 'recovered'?

-Because my life doesn't revolve around food, exercise, feelings of hunger, my own image in the mirror, the way my clothes fit, what people say to me regarding appearance or success/failure.

-Because I actually have a life.

-Because when I wake up in the morning I am content, not filled with despair.

-Because I don't have to work at it. It is now natural.

-Because I can help others without being triggered by them.

-Because this blog is not a bunch of hypocritical paragraphs that I say but seldom do. I live by what I write here.

-Because I like my body.

-Because I even, most of the time, LOVE my body.

-Because I am at peace with issues of my adolescence.

-Because I can eat "junk food" and not care.

-Because I don't binge or purge or starve myself.

-Because I don't even WANT to binge, purge, or starve myself.

-Because I don't care what the number on a scale says and it used to incredibly define me.

-Because I am a healthy weight.

-Because appreciate myself instead of hate myself.

-Because I feel free.

And these are just to name a few of the reasons I know I'm "recovered." Out of the woods. Healthy. Happy. Here in the moment and not afraid to eat, look, live, love.

And how long did it take?

If you start counting from my first onset of disordered eating and self-hatred (in the sixth grade) but BEFORE I was diagnosed with full-blown anorexia, then it's taken about 10 or 11 years to reach "recovered" status... and 13 or 14 years (total) to reach the "recovered" me I am today (which began about 3 years ago, if you see what I'm saying).

My official descent into a rampant eating disorder began when I had just turned 18, but from the get-go I wanted recovery and started almost immediately. It was not easy.

The length of time isn't what's important. It can take 3 years or 30 years. The goal is to get to the point where you can say, "I'm free" and mean it. Don't give yourself a deadline. Don't beat yourself up for slip-ups. Just. keep. trying.

To add a question to the list I'm answering from, just comment in my original post, here.

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