I've been thinking about my life for the past few days, and more specifically what the future holds for me. I realized that one of the main reasons I struggle so much with my ED and am at times unwilling to let it go because I have no "back-up plan". Meaning that I have nothing else to really pour my passion, time, effort and energy into. My ED is a way I (and this is going to sound really weird and pathetic)give my life a sense of purpose. My life revolves around counting calories, exercising and watching that number go down. It's broken into simple 1-2-3 goals that I know very well how to achieve. But long term goals are harder. I've had so many shattered plans and dreams that I'm scarred of planning ahead. It's much easier to go back to my 1-2-3 goals and rely on them giving me the purpose and sense of fulfillment I need.
I would divide my ED into two "phases" pre-hospital and post-hospital. Pre-hospital I was completely powerless to do anything to recover myself. This is a fact. I couldn't imagine forcing myself to eat more, or not purge, or not exercise. I needed all those rules and guidelines to force me to move in the right direction. At that point I had pretty much come to grips with the fact that I would die from my ED, and that's the way my life was going to go. Then I went into IP, reached a healthy weight and experienced a bit of life without my ED. But once I left I started slipping and I gave up fighting. I figured it was impossible to be fully recovered and the best I could hope for is a symbiotic relationship with this disorder. It didn't bother me too much, at least not most of the time, so I just hung onto it. Slowly but surely it started dawning on me that I was slipping more and more into my ED reality and slipping away from the real world. My life revolved around work and not eating - that was pretty much it. I could see the weight rapidly dropping off, and even though it was scarring me, I COULDN'T change. Finally, one evening, I sat down with my family and told them what was wrong. It might have been the most difficult thing I've ever done. It started a cycle of events totally beyond my control : full of fears, tears, tense family relationships and numerous doctor's visits. But right now I can say with full confidence that I did the right thing. My weight didn't get low enough for me to be put in the hospital with an IV, and I've been given this unique opportunity to try it again and get it "right" this time around. In some ways it's easier then the 1st recovery; I more or less know how this is supposed to go and I know it IS possible. It's harder because I don't have anyone forcing me, I can't make plans to lose just a little weight once I hit my goal. I'm doing all this on my own, no one is forcing me. And that is as terrifying and it is empowering.
Back to the original thoughts of this post. I wanted to find something to do with my life now that I am in recovery and will be healthy very soon. I needed to find something that will make my life seem worthwhile, that will motivate me to fight on days I feel I just don't have it in me. And I decided that I want to become a dietitian and work with anorectics. There was one nutritionist I spoke to at the beginning of my current recovery who had been bulimic in the past, and that enabled her to reach me and reason with me in a way that no one else could. I felt like I could trust her, because she had gotten out of an eating disorder and she didn't look fat or unkempt (unlike the therapist in the hospital). She looked fit, happy and healthy. And I said "If she could do that, I can do it too". I want to be that kind of inspiration to other people as well. I've been given a chance make something out of my life, I can't let it slip by. If through this pain I can somehow help someone else, it'll be more then worth it.
As far as my goals from my previous post go, my short term goals include introducing a greater variety of foods into my diet on a regular basis and letting other people cook for me. Broken down that means I will try to eat a "different food" every 2-3 days. I might not like it, but I will eat it even to remember if I do or don't like it.
Yesterday it was yellow cheese - and guess what? I quite like it :) I'm still not 100% comfortable with eating it, but I will slowly try to incorporate it more and more.
Today it was cottage cheese in my oats - not impressive at all. But hey, I tried something new and that's something to be proud of :D
I CAN do this, I've proving it to myself more and more every day. And I will continue to fight because I have a full life ahead of me, and I will not waste any more of it on being selfish and self-centered.
To have suffered much is like knowing many languages, it gives the suffer access to many more people.