Monday, 20 April 2009

Are We There Yet?

I was discharged from the Intensive Home Treatment Team today- my initial thought was, "does that mean I am fine now?" I don't feel much different to how I did a month ago, 2 months, 3 months ago- but that doesn't mean that how I felt then was "wrong" in some way. Maybe I am already at the place I need to be?

This is all rather confusing. I guess my point is, how do we know if we have recovered or not? I've talked before about recovery, in my head, as being this magical sparkly wonderful happy place. I know that place doesn't exist. Which means I have to define recovery for myself- which makes me wonder if I am already there. I'm not in the same "place" that a lot of people (non-eating disordered/recovered) are, but I don't think I ever WILL be. Because I am not them and my life will be shaped by MY thoughts/feelings/ideas/goals and nobody else's. I haven't achieved my goals in life yet, but hell- I'm 26. I have a lot of time ahead of me to be reaching my goals. That's what life is all about, right? Constantly changing, growing, maturing. There IS no final destination. You just carry on making sense of things as best as you can, accepting the things you don't understand, forming relationships, doing new things/getting better at old things, making mistakes and getting back on your feet. C'est la vie.

This train of thought was prompted not just by my discharge from the IHTT, but also when it struck me how bored I am. Bored of anorexia, YES (my god- how many hours can I obsess over the size of a banana before I realise how freaking DULL it is?!) but also bored of recovery. NOT bored of the idea of recovery, but bored of the grey in between area between sick and well. I'm tired of thinking the same thoughts (whether they are ED/recovery), tired of the same dilemmas/decisions (blueberries or raspberries? distraction or CBT? acceptance or pushing for change?). I am just starting to feel like this is all losing any meaning- none of it seems important right now.

I feel like I did when I was 10- I had osgood schlatters disease (when the muscle in your knee grows faster than the bone) and spent the summer on crutches. I wanted to go to the tennis camp I went to every year. Instead I sat in a bean bag reading for the entire summer...losing myself in stories about people who were out playing hockey, horseback riding, ice skating. I wanted more than ANYTHING to be running around with my friends but my body wasn't co-operating. (My parents did console me by letting me get my ears pierced- thanks guys!)

I kind of feel like this now.

Yet there is nothing concrete/tangible that I can *see* to stop me. Depression, anxiety, ED thoughts- they don't show up on x-rays or scans. There is nothing I can point to and say, "okay- I'll fix this" because I'm not quite sure what is wrong. Or if there even IS something wrong. Which leads me back to my original paragraph.

Maybe this is "normal" after all...

or maybe I just need to believe it's normal because it's driving me insane and I don't know how to fix it


Anonymous said...

I am lacking in answers :( but I relate a lot. Just wanted to let you know that I'm thinking of you <3

Anonymous said...

I agree with Katie, I also don't have the answers. I can't possibly think that this would be recovery. It all just does seem like one big question mark--life, recovery, love, happiness, health, etc.
Recovery is about "constantly changing, growing (literally in the physical sense, but spirtually and mentally as well) and maturing."
You say that you don't have things you can "see" on XRays, but how about the phsyical effects you feel--constant faituge, having your clothes needing to be belted to your body just to stay up, not being able to concentrate, constantly being cold, confused, and most of all DEPRESSED. Unfournately, the number on the scale is the physical manifestation of the disease. You do have a lot of life left to accomplish your dreams, but an ED will only make that shorter.
I know you don't want to be where you are at right now. It's not a stopping point. You have not reached the end.
You are in my thoughts. Take care.

Lexi said...

Congrats on being discharged from the home program. I think that is an accomplishment to be proud of.

As far as the "are we there yet" question goes... I agree with both Sam and Katie. I don't think there is one defined answer. I think the answer is different for everyone; because everyone's recovery is different.

I feel like once the obsession with food and weight subsides, then recovery has happened or is beginning to really happen. When the ED thoughts are quieter, when the anxiety and isolation begin to go away..that's was recovery is to me. But I think everyone should have their own definition.

Love always,

Cacti Don't Cry said...

"Recovery" is definitely whatever your definition of it is... but you don't have to settle for something just because you "don't know how to fix it." Nothing is irreparable. It's just really damn hard to find that out.

Sarah said...

Oh, if only I knew the answer to this everyone before me has said, there isn't really one. However, while that can be frustrating and terrifying, it can also be comforting. There isn't a single perfect recovery state that you have to reach...and therefore it can be whatever you make it and want it to be. I agree with Lexi in that the ED voices are quieter and less demanding, but other than is up to you! I know I've used this quote before, but it is one of my favorites:

"I must see my life as a work in progress-- nothing about me is ever final."

Even once we might be labeled as "recovered" there will STILL be things we are working on and wanting and striving for...and while that is frustrating and frightening, it is also what makes life beautiful, exciting, and worth living.

Take care!!

Stef said...

I'm sorry you're stuck in this in-between place. It sucks, I know. I'm glad that you were discharged from home treatment, but I hope that the disruption in your schedule and the lack of daily support doesn't cause too much anxiety. If you need anything, let me know!

Syd said...

Recovery for me is being happy, joyous, and free--it's a feeling of contentment and acceptance of people. It's not feeling that I have the answers to what another does. It's knowing that my HP is with me. It's a great freedom from obsession. So many things define recovery for me.