There are a number of times I've been asked, what are your top reasons in favor of recovery? Or is it worth it? Or more often, how do you know you're recovered?
And this is the answer I always give:
- 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 I live by what I’m writing 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 without over-thinking.
-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 I appreciate myself instead of hate myself.
-Because I feel free.
I am here in the moment and not afraid to eat, look, live, love. And you can do it too.
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.
You've heard me say this a million times and I will repeat it until it gets old... and then I'll still keep repeating it: Being "recovered" isn't about always being happy 100% of the time—it's about knowing what to do when you're not.
No matter how many cons there are to your dilemma, one big pro outweighs them all: you getting better, you feeling better, you learning to live life again.
Put more faith in yourself than in your eating disorder. Don’t underestimate your power to move forward and stay there. It all starts with you.