Having an eating disorder is more than a full-time job, it becomes a lifestyle and a way of being. I don’t need to tell you that going to a party is analogous to being put in a washing machine. A cacophony of thoughts, all competing for your attention order you to eat this and not that. Another sector will run the bargaining campaign, if you don’t eat this you may eat that. A third part of the chorus will conduct a running commentary on how you look and who is watching you, all while keeping a black book of ‘social blunders’ it can use to beat you up later.
And this might just be the first three minutes.
It is in these moments, these anxiety filled, deafening, paralysing moments where you shape your next moment, and the one after it.
In recovery it can seem like there are a thousand decisions to make every single day. And if we make it complicated, there are.
If we keep it very simple, it all boils down to one thing...do you choose your eating disorder or recovery in this moment? There is no ‘halfway’, no ‘kind of’ or ‘maybe’. Just two choices.
In every moment, every decision you make either moves you one step closer to your eating disorder or one step closer to recovery.
So when you go to that party, have a plan that starts with a meal plan.
When your eating disorder says ‘eat this’ or ‘don’t eat that’, take a moment to step outside, check your meal plan that is in your notes in your phone and remind yourself of the recovery choice. Breathe. You are now one step closer to recovery.
Return to the party, follow your meal plan, refuse to bargain or engage with that voice in your head.
Oh it will try. If at first it doesn’t succeed it will try harder the second time, and the third. Eventually though, when it realizes that no matter how big a tantrum it throws that you will not budge it will get quieter and quieter until it is no longer there.
How long? Probably a long time.
Is it hard? Yes.
Is it worth it? Absolutely.
I know of no greater freedom, no greater joy than being fully recovered.
What will you do in this moment that moves you one step closer to freedom?