For those in recovery from an Eating Disorder you will know that there are ups and downs. There are the good days,the bad days and the days where we don't have a clue what voice we are listening to, be it the Eating Disorder or logic.
There's the cliche mantra of taking things a day at a time, a meal at a time.
We are told that if we have a bad day to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves down and that tomorrow is a chance to get back on track.
We are given all of these tools and sayings to help us self soothe when we criticize and torment ourselves for slips, because a common trait for those with Anorexia is black and white thinking, all or nothing, perfectionists.
So it's hard when we slip to see it as just that, a slip.
It's hard when not all behaviors are gone to believe in recovery.
I know that, for me, my ideal recovery is one where Anorexia is gone completely, no trace left, no need for it, no niggling memory of it, no active behaviors.
So slips to me mean that I am failing, and that is where I am right now, trying to reign in the new slips.
I have been dreading writing this because, as previously mentioned, slips to me mean that I have failed, means that the 'all' in the 'all or nothing' logic is dangerously close, it means I'm balancing over a path that I never want to go down again, or even already a few steps down it. I have kept this quiet because I never wanted to utter the words 'I'm really struggling' ever again.
I never wanted to break the trust that I have worked so hard to build.
But now I am uttering those words, because it's the reality and there is hope and learning in that.
The most frustrating thing in all this is the fact that I am happy, very happy, and yet here we are again. I realize that my slip comes from many triggers, the main one being anxious and aware of the unpredictability of all the good things in life. Not feeling secure and on edge that at any second all the things that have been built up can disappear, just like that, gone. The anxiety sits heavy and the more I try to look for something secure and safe the more I stumble across the safety of my Eating Disorder, it once again becomes my life line, it means that if I do lose the good things that I still have something to hold on to.
I do not recognize the person that I have become. I have gone from a girl that copes by using self destruction, a self destruction that I naively thought was invisible, to a girl that understood herself and almost liked the strength she felt, to a girl that reacts to triggers and is someone not very likeable.
So please bear with me, I am trying to understand myself again, I'm trying to understand my slip and learn from it and I know I may not be that pleasant to be around at the moment but I am learning and adapting.
For those that are also clinging on to not letting the slips take them down onto a spiral, know that you are not alone in that.
Know that if you are petrified about being too far into the 'all' path that it's not too late to pull yourself out, because even though it might be black or white. all or nothing, we forget that we still have a choice, and we forget that we have always asked too much of ourselves.
It's always been too much to starve or purge our way to near death, it's always been too much to live by the rules we have created to try and ease some kind of burden, it's always been too much to cause ourselves the physical and mental pain that we have, and it has always been too much to expect this to just go away over night.
There will be slips, there will be the bad days and there will be hard times, but it doesn't mean a fall down that rabbit hole again, it doesn't mean we are hopeless, it means we are human and we have a fight ahead of us, it means we have to cut ourselves some slack, breathe and, as always, trust the process.
It's going to be ok.