26 May 2015

Life goes on, and so does exploring recovery.

Isn't it funny how life just goes on, how arriving in a new place, doesn't make the old one disappear? However much we try to stop the world moving sometimes and scream "let me get off!", it just keeps ticking over. That's, as they say. life. 

When I was at my most ill, life stopped. Halted. That 'anorexic mixtape' stuck on loop, over and over and over again, with no respite, the same thing over and over. Treading water, every day, terrified to swim either way.

But one thing that's helping me move from being in treatment, to living life away from life at the eating disorders clinic, is just trying really hard to not call myself recovered, or in recovery, or an 'anorexia survivor'. Just trying to move on with life, explore my new skills now I've finished the swim.

I'm learning to accept recovery is never probably going to have the end point and golden beaches I once dreamt of reaching. The place where it all made sense and life was, well, dare I say perfect, sorted and fixed. It was a mirage I thought I saw in the confusion of anorexia and during the four year swim I've just made to get here.  

This came up in an interview I did with a magazine this afternoon. I was asked to describe where I am at now with anorexia. Am I still in recovery, or have I recovered? It's the first time I've spoken to someone new about my experience since discharge, and I didn't know what to say. In some ways, I HAVE recovered from anorexia, I've recovered my BMI, I've recovered my life, I've recovered my career. I no longer have full-blown clinical anorexia. But have I set up camp here?

Sort of, I've found my plot. But in saying that, I'm suggesting that I have totally overcome anorexia. Out the other side, reached that recovery cove I once referred to. I may have out swam the sharks, I may have reached the other side of the recovery ocean, But it doesn't mean I'm settled here.

Now is where I perhaps rest my arms and legs a little after almost drowning and the epic swim that was treatment. Now is where I start to explore the new place I am in, walk along the shore a little. Now is the time to use the survival skills I've been taught by Dr. B, Mrs. W, Ms F. and others - and make my own way here.

After all, explorers don't land in new places and have a ready made camp, do they? It's about arriving on new shores and using the skills picked up along the way to carve a new life. And this is where life, and my recovery is now. Not over, just me, my life, moving on in a new place. 

One of the quotes my recovery tattoo relates to is apt here too.

1 comment :

  1. I have followed your journey, you are inspirational and give me hope, and I share 'Dr B' too, I'm proud of you and doing so amazingly well in such a difficult journey,