Good morning, ladies. (And maybe some random gentlemen that are reading this)
It's a beautiful morning here. The sun is shining, and it's not hot yet. It is probably 80 degrees now, but it's supposed to get up to 96 today. So much for spring-like weather. I think spring lasts about 1 week here in Memphis. I really want to lay out today, but that would require me getting into my newly acquired two piece swimsuit. I don't know how I feel about that today. I'm all for having a healthy body, and being at a healthy weight, but when I put on my swim suit I can't help but think how much better it would look if I was at my low weight (25 pounds ago). Yes, I know. I know. I looked like shit at that weight, according to many of you. And I know that, logically. But, really, when I look in the mirror, I can't help but miss that body sometimes. But then I remind myself of how miserable being in that body really was. It was not fun, it was not easy, and I definitely saw myself as heavier than I see myself now. Only with nutrition (that makes my brain function correctly- what a novel idea!) do I see that I was in fact much smaller than I am now.
The mirror is such a frustrating thing for me. I see myself now, and I look much bigger than I did when I got home. That is ridiculous, because, in fact I look the exact same to everyone else as when I got home. How do I know that? Well, it's because, when I went to the doctor the other day, I weighed the EXACT same weight that I did as soon as I got home (2 and a half months ago). Exact down to the decimal. So, logically, I know that it is physically impossible to look different if you haven't gained one ounce of weight. That's comforting to me, because I tend to be very logical when I'm not in the depths of my eating disorder. But, alas, the mirror- something that is supposed to reflect perfectly what an object (or person) looks like- lies to me on a daily basis. It's called bdd. Body Dysmorphic Disorder. It's when your mind sees your body as disfigured or bigger than it really is. When I look in the mirror, I see something much different than what you all see when you look at me. Same as photographs, videos of me, etc. Part of my brain will always (unless this rather unfortunate phenomenon is healed by the grace of God) believe what I see in the mirror, even though, logically, I know it's a lie.
My eating disorder uses this against me on a daily basis. Just another manipulative way to get me to go back to the hell that an having an ED is. I won't do it though. I refuse to let my eating disorder take over my life again. It can go fuck it's self. I've come too far to let it's lies send me back into the darkness.
However, the great thing about being in a strong, real recovery is that I don't give a damn. Yes, the mirror lies to me. The sucky thing for my ED is that, even though I see myself as 170 pounds (obviously I'm not 170, and there is nothing wrong with being 170, so don't get offended, please.) I accept my body looking like that. (even though it really doesn't). I look in the mirror and say, "Yep. This is what I see. Do I like it? No. But, do I accept it as what it looks like to me, even if it's not true? Yes." I accept that, even if I do look like that, I won't do anything to change it. I'm living the life that I dreamed of for so long, and, really, who the hell cares what I look like as long as I'm healthy and happy? I try not to.
Today, I am loving recovery. That definitely doesn't happen every day, but I am thankful for each day that I wake up and think, "Recovery is amazing." I thank God every day that he's brought me to the other side of this. From his grace, I can see clearly what life was like while I was sick. I no longer hold any illusions of grandeur about my eating disorder. It sucked. It sucked completely, totally, passionately. It sucked. There was nothing positive about the years I was sick. However there are some positive things I gained by being sick, and most importantly being in recovery. I have great amounts of understanding and empathy for all people. I know that everyone, no matter who they are or how happy they are in the moment, is fighting, or has fought, or is going to fight a hard battle of some kind. I understand the world around me in a completely different way than most people. And most importantly, I've come to realize that, yes, what doesn't kill you does indeed make you stronger.
I am strong, and I am a free woman.
And it feels great.