Sometimes I worry that the reason I struggle with recovery, is I don’t want to recover. And sometimes I worry that the reason I don’t want to recover, is people will stop being nice to me.
When you grow in an emotionally sterile environment, you grow craving love, affection and nurturing. You can then find these things in so many other unhealthy ways… Food became my biggest means of nurturing myself. It might be highly maladaptive, illogical and do more harm than good in the long run – but that is the origin of my eating disorder. Other people might nurture and numb themselves with illicit drugs, alcohol, sex addiction, promiscuity – there are as many different ways to damage yourself as there are damaged people. But there are a great many of us that fell into food at a young age, and have taken decades to figure it all out.
What I discovered when my mental health deteriorated so badly that my physical health became significantly impacted, was I received a lot of love, affection and nurturing I had not previously been privy to. I am starting to become concerned however, that I’m hanging on to my illnesses just so people will look after me. That they’ll keep checking on me and asking after me and listening to my stories and making sure I’m okay. I can’t think of anything more lovely at the moment, than to go to hospital where nice people pop in every now and then to ask me if I feel okay and would I like a cup of tea…
It is very comforting to be comforted…
The sensible voice inside me is saying that is ridiculous. And selfish. The people who care for me now, have always cared, and will always care. Staying unwell is absurd and will piss people off. I need to help myself, not hang out at a never ending pity party with one attendee.
The sensible voice inside me is saying there is almost certainly a rich, fulfilling life on the other side of recovery that is going to offer me so much more than the self-inflicted misery I currently live in.
The sensible voice inside me is never quite loud enough.
The obnoxious, confident, endlessly chattering voice of my eating disorder, natters away telling me how safe I am to stick with what I’m doing. I can control my weight this way and people check on me and I can ignore all the stresses in my life – just bury my head in a bowl of ice-cream. Perfect!
I keep making a valiant effort to quell the obnoxious voice, and amplify the quiet one. It is time.
This disordered mind might tell me foolish things about myself – day in and day out – but it will never totally quash that other little voice that wants to see how life looks in the land of rainbows and unicorns.
With a little bit of luck, a shitload of hard work, and a tiny sprinkle of pixie dust, I just might overturn the disordered thoughts and find recovery.