Honesty can be hard sometimes, but it is vital to recovery.
Last week, I found myself flooded with shame. I was sharing my recovery through my blog and social media but I wasn’t being totally honest with what I was dealing with. I was struggling on the edge of relapse. I wasn’t doing well, but I felt embarrassed to share that I was in this difficult place. What was more embarrassing, however, was that I felt like a hypocrite. I was pretending to be in a more positive place than I actually was. This scenario happens all too often with girls who share their recovery online through blogging, social media etc. I felt horrible about what I was doing. I didn’t want to feel this shame anymore.
I had to really question what I was doing.
Why I was relapsing, why I was going back to my eating disorder. I discovered that I was terrified: terrified to move on with my life, to live a life without my eating disorder. I felt so far away from that part of me that I became overwhelmed. I decided to run back towards it, hoping it would take me back in.
I was sitting in my nutritionists office every week, explaining to her what was going on and seeing the unhappy face that she wore that was plagued disappointment. It stung. I felt so guilty. At one appointment she asked, “Ivy, what are you doing? All of us supporting you are wondering why you are doing this? Why are you relapsing?” In that moment, I had no answer, but with some reflection I discovered why.
I was going to college. My life was changing. I wanted to be independent, but at the same time I just wanted to be taken care of. I thought that going back to my eating disorder would keep people from expecting anything of me. I would enter back into the safety of a treatment center and I would stay stuck: not having to grow up and move on. I would be that girl. The girl who went in and out of treatment, continuing to relapse, walking back through the revolving door.
One day I had an epiphany, I asked myself he exact thing my nutritionist had asked a few weeks ago: “Ivy, what are you doing? You are sharing so much positivity online, but your not living it. You are living under the guise of recovery. Maybe instead of faking it, you should just live it!” That’s the moment where I turned as fast as I could and proceeded away from the revolving door, rejecting it’s offer to let me back in.
I was not relapsing. I was not going back.
I needed to learn how to live life as it is: a stressful and overwhelming mess without resorting to my old behaviors to help me cope. I needed to embrace it and just be happy with its imperfection. So, I began reversing my relapse. I started to get back on track: following my meal plan, being social and the most important thing, being honest. I am not a liar. My morals do not approve of dishonesty. Maybe the eating disorder does, but Ivy does not. I will no longer live in a lie. It’s time I be honest.
So, today is I’m being accountable and sharing my struggle with everyone. I was struggling. It happens. Recovery isn’t linear it’s more like this.
And that’s okay. You have to fight the fight more than once to win it. I succeeded. I fought again and won. I have pulled out of that place without reentering treatment. This is how I know I’m recovering. I’m staying accountable and I no longer have to run away from my problems to fix them. I will fight them head on.
I can be honest. I can fight the fight. I can recover.
This past week over spring break I got to go through college orientation at LSU. I will be attending college there next fall! I can’t believe it! Meeting all of my classmates was so exciting. I really saw how many opportunities I have in front of me. How much life has to offer and life is definitely so much better without an eating disorder. I am so excited what my future has to hold. That is motivation. Motivation to recover. To finally say goodbye to this illness.
I can recover. I will recover.