Sometimes, recovery sucks.
It sucks much less than anorexia does, but it still sucks.
I've found the only way to get through these tough times is to accept that this will suck. And that it's okay. The suckiness will eventually pass.
Giving myself permission to utterly hate this part has actually been somewhat liberating. It's what, in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, is known as radical acceptance. It's very Buddhist and Zen- that there are things we will have to accept in our lives that we may not want to. But we can save ourselves a lot of suffering by doing so. I have radically accepted that recovery can suck and that's okay. I am not obligated to like it.
This is the drudgery, the facing meal after meal, snack after snack, fear food after fear food, in an unrelenting chain. Kind of like a cafeteria conveyor belt. Except none of the items look appetizing, but I can't get out of line until you make a choice. So I wait and wait and all that passes by is mystery meat with nasty congealed gravy.
I don't have to like the entrees. I do have to eat it.
My good friend from college calls this the growing-flowers-from-shit phenomenon. This actually encapsulates the concept quite well, when you get right down to it.
The only difference is that I have to eat the shit. I don't think she realized this part.
I get discouraged a lot. Wondering, pondering the question: will this ever get any easier? When? Will my sanity hold out until then?
I think, though, my turning point was when I was at the day patient program this past December and January. Insurance had kicked me out, told me that I was no longer in need of health services. It was this horrific feeling, that I had been living in this bizarre limbo between deathly ill and truly healthy for years, and no one was going to pull me out. Ultimately, it was up to me. I would receive treatment for just long enough to pull me back from death's door, and then be turned loose. I would do okay for a while, slide back down, and the whole process would begin again. And I realized there was no end in sight.
So I made a U-Turn. Said whatever happens can't be worse than this half-life.
Recovery hasn't been, really. It's been hard in a different way. The general public associates anorexia with willpower and strength. For me, anorexia wasn't willpower. Recovery- that was willpower. Willpower is facing down your greatest fears day after day after day, with the knowledge that tomorrow wouldn't be any different.
I cling to the idea that one day, it will get easier. There are moments when I think it might have started, and compared to the beginning of this mess, it has.
I want it to be better NOW. This makes sense. Who wouldn't it want to be better now? I could do another Zen thing and say there's something to be learned in the meantime. Again, that's probably true. I'm just not like that.
At the end of the day, I am where I am, and I'm moving forward. I can't ask any more of myself.