When I think back to that time I can remember the rush of adrenaline through my veins. When I pause though, and pay attention to what else I was feeling fragments come back to me. The lethargy in between the adrenaline. The isolation. Foggy thoughts. Dizziness. The drill sergeant in my brain, always commanding. The immediate terror I would feel on waking - having to plan out my day.
I was tired. No, exhausted. When I say I had nothing left it is no exaggeration. The thought of the next hour of life felt insurmountable yet here I was being asked to do all the things that terrified me. Eat food. Keep it. Sit on my butt and not exercise. I didn’t have the energy to fight the anxiety if I did the recovery thing, yet if I continued in my eating disorder I wouldn’t be getting additional energy anytime soon.
Having lived in both hemispheres I have been exposed to all versions of ‘recovered’ in the eating disorder world.
In medical terms there is criteria for a broken bone and criteria for a healed bone. There is criteria for being diagnosed with cancer and criteria for remission.
When it comes to eating disorders, there is no standard criteria that is agreed upon in order to define recovery.
As you step into recovery, your body may change...and your beliefs, behaviours, biases and values will go through a software update as well, because these are the things that got you into an eating disorder in the first place.