I want recovery.
I want to be normal. I want a life that doesn't revolve around food. I want to be able to concentrate enough to read a book or watch a movie. I want to spontaneously meet friends for brunch. I want to be able to laugh and joke around with people, and feel like I am contributing to the conversation, rather than just pretending/being an outsider. I want to be able to fill my time with both cool and mundane 'stuff' and be okay with both, without being terrified of having empty gaps in my schedule, or filling endless hours with walking and grocery shopping. I want to have people in my life that I can lean on a little, without being overly reliant, or determined to show how self-sufficient I really am. I want to sleep through the night and wake up at a reasonable hour. I want to look forward to the day ahead as I fall asleep. I want to come home each evening with enough energy to do more than just sit and stare at the walls. I want to be able to dance again, to play my harp again, to make t-shirts again. I want to go to movies, ice skating, bowling. I want to travel, eat at restaurants, visit family and friends. I want to have a job that I am comfortable in, which doesn't make me want to jump out of the window (from either stress or boredom) that I can balance with everything else without running me to the ground. I want a place to call home. I want to look in the mirror and smile. I want to be free from all this craziness. I want to throw back my head and laugh like I used to.
I was thinking about this all in Starbucks this evening. I was starting to feel excited, hopeful, happy. Then the thought popped into my head: "once I lose another Xlbs"
Recovery to me has always felt conditional. I'll recover without gaining weight. I'll recover but I won't eat such-and-such a food. I'll recover but I won't do xyz. The one time I really decided to throw these conditions out the window and do WHATEVER was recommended I do, I fell flat on my face. I gained weight, did my affirmations, my DBT homework, my body image homework, ate at restaurants, ate "fear foods"...did it all. For a while. Things were...interesting. I remember a lot of crazy mood swings, impulsive behaviours and depression. I also remember sleeping better, having more energy and having fun with friends. I remember having a freedom around food that I hadn't experienced for a while. I remember being busy to the point where I was exhausted, but scared to slow down in case my eating disorder clawed it's way back in. I remember interacting with people again, being part of the world rather than just a bystander. I remember making people laugh. I remember calling suicide hotlines at 2am utterly despairing. I remember doing stupid shit that I never thought I would do. I remember banging my head against a wall until I saw spots. I remember running through the streets at 4am, trying to escape the cloud looming above my head. I remember spending lots of money and ending up in some seriously messy (dangerous?) situations.
It was definitely a mixed bag. Am I happier now? I honestly don't know. My moods are slightly more stable. I feel safer, more in my comfort zone. I know the path I am taking, I know where it can lead, and I know how to maneuver my way through *this* maze. The maze of recovery was unknown. I didn't know where the potholes were placed, or where the quick-sand lay. I didn't know what was coming, or what might trip me up. Reflecting back, I still don't know quite what went wrong, or how, or when. Or if I was even on the right path to begin with...