• emmanuellegammage

Post-Recovery Thoughts

I enjoy having a routine. I need a routine may be a more real statement. I feel comfortable when I am in control, maybe thats how anorexia still creeps into my bones. I very much have a set routine at University but coming home, as much as I love it, it really messes with my mind and body. I always find it difficult to re-adjust and come to grips with it.

Sometimes the realness of my past eating disorder catches me off guard. Those thoughts sometimes reemerge that tell me to work harder, be better and look better. This is only 10% of me, but that 10% sometimes feels like 100%. 

I suppose that starving is my security blanket. It makes me feel good. I know that is ridiculous to say, because it doesn't feel good, but somehow my mind tricks me into wanting the feeling. Anorexia is an addiction. So naturally, you have to constantly challenge that part of you. Sometimes I can go through phases where I can eat anything, have the perfect balance and be completely chill about my body. And other times, I really want to restrict myself again. 

Because it is addictive, I find myself feeling jealous of those who restrict themselves. Deep down, I don't want to put myself in that position. But sometimes, just a hint of that desire comes back and it seems like bliss. But then you have to remind yourself that its an illusion, that your addiction is not real. 

I came back from Amsterdam feeling happy and blessed to have spent time with my friends and explored a new place. But I had neglected my body and mindset. I felt really groggy and gross. Although I didn't act on it, restriction felt like the only solution. However, what I do understand now is what 'healthy' means. I try to eat well and exercise and love myself for different reasons than before. My lovely friend reminded me that losing control is freeing, and we must remember that. 

Body confidence effects every aspect of my life. If I feel bad about my body then I feel low, unmotivated and unlovable. This leads to constant anxiety about anything else throughout the day. One of my biggest faults when I feel so negative is that I study myself in the mirror. This only causes that vicious circle to start again. What we really need to do is be kind and remind ourselves of the journey that we are on. Remind yourself of day one and how much you have grown. 

This morning I woke up feeling bad about myself. I was moody and cried because I didn't understand what I was doing wrong. I felt guilty for not working out for a week. I felt guilty for letting myself indulge. I wanted to go back to my 'healthy' and ordered routine. I wanted my stomach to be skinner. By lacking love for myself, it meant that I couldn't give love to anyone else. But all I could focus on was me, and my body. It was taking control again. I told myself that I was going to be strict this week and get myself 'back on track'. I planned it all out in my head, when and what I would do at the gym and what I wouldn't allow myself to eat. 

But then I had a few hours to myself, I went to the gym and sat in a coffee shop for two hours with my headphones plugged in and tried to connect with myself. I cannot stress enough how important this is; because I rationalised and compromised with those two sides of me and came away feeling refreshed and ready for freedom. I was not going to restrict myself or over compensate in the gym. I was just going to do me and trust my body to exercise and eat how it feels like. Although going to the gym might not be a good solution for you, I find it really relaxing and helps with any anxious feelings I might have. 

I still don't feel that attractive or great about my body. I don't particularly want to praise myself with love. So you know what, I'm not going to. I don't want to hate or wallow in self-pity either. I simply want to accept my current feeling and appearance. My body is constantly changing and that is neither a good nor bad thing. It just simply is. You don't always have to shower yourself in love or feeling amazing to accept your body. Just accept the now. 

A little bit of a ramble today. But I suppose this is a hint of what could go through a recovered anorexic's mind. Yes, I am recovered and the 90% of that is amazing. But please remember to continue to love and support people post recovery. Give extra love on those bad days. Try and understand the little pieces of the past that stay with us, even if we can't put it into words or want to talk about it. And also remember that you don't have to have an eating disorder to feel this way. Insecurities are inescapable, but starvation is never the solution. 

"If flowers can grow through blankets of melting snow, there is hope for me"

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