I’ve started rereading my journal I kept at TK. I found this entry from March 4, 2019. I had been at TK not quite a week. That first week was pretty rough. One night I had a check in with a BHS and I was expressing how frustrated I was. It wasn’t what I expected and I thought I wasn’t doing a good job. I felt like I was disappointing everyone. She encouraged me to think about why I wanted to recover. Not why anyone else wanted me to, but what it meant to me. That night, I wrote this:
My goal for recovery is to get my life back.
ED has taken over everything. I want to be able to go to meals with friends and not panic about how much I can eat or what exactly I’ll eat or where I can restrict without it being obvious or where I can hide food or worry about everyone looking at me and judging me. I want to sit there and smile and laugh. I want my life back. I want to have the strength to go to meals on my own, without people forcing me. I don’t want to lie when someone asks if I’ve eaten. I want a life free of guilt and shame. I don’t want to sit in pain after every meal, telling myself I shouldn’t have done that. I don’t want to have to stay at dinner an extra 30 minutes just to ride out the urge to go back to my room and throw up. I want my life back. I want to give everything I have to school. I want to be excited about music. I want to get through a piano lesson without crying. I want to be able to memorize music again. I want to get through a choir concert without having to worry about fainting. I want my life back. I want to look in the mirror and smile. I don’t want to worry every time I walk in a room that people are staring at me and thinking I’m fat. I don’t want to only wear clothes that “make me look skinny.” I don’t want to suck in in every picture, hoping and praying I look skinny. I want confidence. I want my life back. I want to go 5 minutes without thinking about it. I want to think about whatever I want. I don’t want it to constantly pick at my brain, reminding me what I’ve done. I want to give my full attention to things. I want my life back.
I want my life back
I want freedom
I want a future
It’s hard to believe it’s been a year since I wrote this. My biggest wish for recovery was to get my life back. Well, that didn’t happen. Instead, I got a better life. Just a year later and I have been blessed more than I could imagine. Of course things aren’t perfect. After all, recovery is a journey, not a destination. Looking in the mirror and smiling is still a stretch. Eating what I want without anyone caring is a little bit of a stretch (shoutout to my dietician and weekly meal logs). Sometimes meals are still hard. But I found laughter again. I found the joy of music. I can give my full attention to new passions. I have a future.
It is so important to make recovery about you. Don’t do it just because someone else told you to. Do it for you. You’ll be amazed at what will happen.