On Recovery

A fabulous quote on recovery from Laura Collins:

"Full recovery is not just weight and ending purging - it is living peacefully in one's mind again."

In a way, living peacefully with yourself is the hardest part, a part I have yet to do.

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Anonymous said...

I don't know that I will ever peacefully live with myself. Whether it be with food or work or school, I don't know that I will ever *not* push myself too far.

licketysplit said...

so so so so true. i hope to get there someday.

Lauren said...

Inspiring. But I think a realistic goal, for me at least, is not to live in peace ALL the time -- just more often than not. :)

Kim said...

All too true. I've done the weight gain thing before. It's the peace thing that's the hard part.

Carrie Arnold said...

It's a hard goal, especially because I don't remember a life without mental illness. And I remember there was a time when I wasn't obsessed with food and weight, but I forgot what it felt like. I kind of have to make it up as I go along.

Kim said...

Yep, like you said, I can remember a time when I didn't think about food/weight...but I've always been anxious... so it's hard to think of peace with myself. I have moments of it and I think, "Oh, THAT'S what it is!"...but then the moment is gone. I'm told the moments become more frequent and longer... We'll see.

MelissaS said...

you said it -- i don't binge, burge or starve anymore, but there's very little peace upstairs. a great one to work on! gently.

A said...

I agree and it scares me.

In the process of doing the weight gain part, I want to find peace -- but I know this will be a long time in coming.


Anonymous said...

I think most people search for peace their whole lives, including those considered to be or who consider themselves enlightened, holistic and/or religious.

The part that might set those with eating disorders apart is the belief that peace and eating, body weight, equanimity, balanced living ... are related.

Disruption in any area of life could most definitely result in a state of "not peace" but a naturally anxious/depressed/traumatized/agitated person probably isn't going to find deliverence to a state they never experienced. It may yet occur ... this contentedness of self ... but the goal of recovery probably can't be peace upstairs. I think that very idea or hope has been what leads to relapse and disatissfaction time and again. I want it to work like an equation: beacause a+b=c, then it necessarily ensues ...

I want to expect something good to come of recovery ... other than just getting to live, and to live outside of hospitals and treatment ... and without exhorbitant health-care expenses. I mean, this whole ED thing has to be worth more than just me getting to live. Just that. Is that it? Is that all there is? Why can't I be recovered and feel good ... better than I did before? Wasn't that what this whole thing was somehow about, either biologically or psychologically/emotionally? Trying to fix something, assuage something, deny something, *do* something.

When I think about it, recovery is really getting back to beginning ... back to where you left off before you developed the ED. Then, you start all over ... though maybe if you've had great support, therapy, insight, changes in life circumstance or relationships, or just some great meds ... then you have a headstart. At least on yourself. Who knows where you may or may not be without the ED detour ... maybe worse, maybe better, maybe no different, maybe no better and just different. I hate the idea of "just" physical recovery, so I balk at it repeatedly. I also let it hold me back, whether I can admit to that or not.

The goal of recovery from an eating disorder, technically, really does seem more about physically restoring and then emotionally accepting food, eating and a body in whatever form as required elements for life ... in whatever circumstance they exist.

The psychological peace or emotional contentedness may never come, but not because you haven't recovered right from an eating disorder. There are plenty of people living in a state of dis-ease/unease all the time. Western countries place more emphasis and value on peace within, and it's in Maslow's hierarchy ... but I think it is faulty association to link recovery with psychological or philosophical peace. I also think it *feels* more important or necessary to those of us more prone to having had/developed eating disorders. Some folks don't actually expect much or hope for much from life, and don't think that is unusual or unsatisfactory or sad or even frustrating.

I think we do or don't find peace within ourselves independent of an ED ... but it wouldn't be possible at all without recovery. Recovery just gives us more time to align with a life that is ... however we might imagine, hope, expect. If we get there, then we find self-actualization, and that's a pretty big accomplishment in anyone's book.

Ojibway Migisi Bineshii said...

This is very true! Great quote~

Carrie Arnold said...

I think the real process goes like this: recovery isn't a guarantee of peace (and don't I know *that*!), but you can't have peace without FULL recovery.

Laura's latest post (on "Bailing out the Boat") really addresses this, I think.

Laura Collins said...

Wonderful insights here. Balance and peace are - oddly enough - HARD, I find. It was easier, back when I had the luxury of it, to just concentrate on BEST and MOST. Life has knocked the wind out of the extremes!

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I'm a science writer, a jewelry design artist, a bookworm, a complete geek, and mom to a wonderful kitty. I am also recovering from a decade-plus battle with anorexia nervosa. I believe that complete recovery is possible, and that the first step along that path is full nutrition.

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nour·ish: (v); to sustain with food or nutriment; supply with what is necessary for life, health, and growth; to cherish, foster, keep alive; to strengthen, build up, or promote


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