Do you guys know what today is? Well, unless you are thoroughly engrossed in and dedicated to reading this blog, let me remind you. TODAY IS THE ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF AN UNEXPECTED TWIST! It was exactly one year ago today that I found myself so lost and desperate inside this eating disorder that I started narrating my journey to the (somewhat) public. I can remember myself very vividly last year on February 7th, sitting on the same couch covered in laundry that I was supposed to have folded, and hoping against all hope that someone, anyone out there might relate to or understand what I was going through. I think the scariest part was that I didn't even know what was wrong with me. I had been diagnosed as anorexic for almost half a year before leaving school for a medical leave and then all of a sudden I was bingeing and I didn't even know if that still counted as an eating disordered behavior. I think I just thought I was losing my mind. I rarely ever feel compassion towards myself but as I go through the posts of last February and recollect that horrible month of starting program, throwing tantrums over the no-exercise policy, crying at the thought of 2 slices of swiss cheese on a sandwich, I feel like going back in time and giving that poor girl a hug.
Honestly, as much as I would like to be thin again, it's not worth it after all the shit it to took to stay there. Man, I never thought I'd say that. Here's a quote from the post I wrote after my first day in outpatient: "I like to think of myself as someone who faces most obstacles with integrity but the truth is when it comes to weight loss, there isn't anything I wouldn't do for it." And it was totally true. I cheated my way like hell through that program; skipping meals at home and then telling everyone in group that I'd followed a meal plan. At lunch during day program I would hide cheese sticks and almonds in the sleeves of my oversized sweatshirts so I didn't have to eat them, and all the while I still thought I could recover from the binge eating if I just concentrated hard enough on restriction. Sometimes I think about writing to my case manager back at the treatment center and telling her all this, just for the sake of taking ownership of my recovery. But then I think about how proud of me everyone was when I was discharged and I wonder if telling them now would just make them paranoid or less confident about how their current patients are doing.
Anyway, I think what amazes me most about all of this is that I've had an eating disorder since I was fourteen and I've made more progress in these last 12 months than I made throughout six years of struggling. I think it's important for me to remember that fact when I start getting down on myself for not being in college right now. The leave from school has been not only necessary for me, but healing as well. Even though I'm not entirely behavior free, I really do think that embracing a lifestyle of recovery is a change unto itself. I still hate my body, and I can't do anything about that right now. They say that body image is the last part of the eating disorder you let go. That's probably true. My weight, wherever it's supposed to be at, will settle once I've settled, but it's not my top priority anymore. Was there any particular person who coined the phrase, "Life is too short"? Well it is too short. In the years to come, I don't want to be living in fear of food and numbers on a scale because I've done that and even though I was a size 2 and had oh my god killer legs, I HAVE to imagine that happiness is about more than just that. I have to.