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Haunted.

Life in recovery is anything but easy. Sure, my life is 10,000 times better than what it once was, but to be perfectly honest part of me just feels like I have to say that…life is so much better now…yadda, yadda, yadda. There is much honesty and truth in that statement, but I also think that sometimes I just want to be brutally honest with people and just say this sucks. It sucks to have an eating disorder and it still sucks to be in recovery from one. I’ve tried so hard the past few months to show everyone just how perfect I am in recovery…isn’t that the one thing that you fight to work against? That word of perfection. I think it swings both ways – perfection doesn’t exist in life, in life with ed nor in life in recovery. It is just not possible. My fear has been that if I seem the least bit weak in recovery or not put together those around me will worry and think I’m back in my disorder. I have had my loved ones worry about me long enough and I just don’t want them to worry anymore, but I’m not doing myself any justice by hiding what’s really going on…

I think I’ve finally found the word to describe what recovery and my life has felt like as of lately…haunted. Some days it is a pit in my stomach, some days it is old memories or places that remind me of ED or my time in treatment…and today it all added up and hit me like a ton of bricks. When will the ghosts of my dark past vanish? When do I get to look forward whole heartedly to starting my family and just being me? When do I truly get to leave ED behind? Sadly, I am coming to realize that maybe I never get to leave the disorder behind. My hope is that as my life continues without it, the ghosts will slowly vanish, but I know they will always be there somewhere…and to simply put it – that just sucks. So at this sucky crossroads is where I summon the therapy gods and just accept this is where I am. I wanted to feel like I was so much further ahead in my journey…I wanted to feel like I was ready to reach out and heal the world, but I’m not. I’m still battling my own disordered demons. It is very hard to accept that the disorder will always be with me…wherever I go, on every form I fill out…ED will be there. I fought my whole life trying to prove I had it all together and that I was ‘just fine’ and that I did not have an eating disorder…when I finally hit rock bottom it still took me a long time to admit and ACCEPT that I had an eating disorder…a severe one at that. And now in recovery, I find myself doing the same thing. Tap dancing through my life in recovery, covering my scars and tears so everyone thinks I am perfectly fine…all the while I am not being honest with myself or others about ED thoughts constantly haunting me and I am not accepting that this is my life now…ED no longer controls it, but it is still there lurking in the shadows. And even as I write this blog it is so hard for me not to fill every other sentence with recovery disclaimers like: “but my life is wonderful now” “I am still symptom free” “Thoughts don’t mean urges or symptoms” “But I am in recovery and happy, life is so good”…and I have to laugh at myself for being such a nut and not being able to just write how I feel. It also makes me laugh because I know this will probably never be read by anyone but myself…no one knows this blog exists…not even my husband so why shouldn’t I just put it all out there and just say how damn hard life is and how damn hard it is being in recovery and that it is not fair that I got dealt this card. I hate my disorder…I hate who it made me, I hate everything I had to go through and everything I put my loved ones through. Some days all of these feelings just get to me…and today is just one of those days…but even on these shitty days I can honestly say that recovery is worth all of this…and tomorrow is a new day…

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  • Reply
    Sarah
    October 7, 2011 at 5:34 am

    I read it. And I feel the same. Just so you know. x

  • Reply
    emstoy
    December 27, 2012 at 10:08 pm

    I know you wrote this over a year ago, but I wanted you to know that I understand where you were and what you were saying. Reading your words on the screen soothes my mind that feels like I always have to prove (or really pretend) that I am getting better because I am working on recovery. Sometimes I just want to shout to the world: “NO I am not okay. Life is hard, harder than it was when I was in denial about my eating disorder. I am tired of pretending, tired of lying, tired of feeling like I *should* be better when I’m just not.”
    Reading your story here is priceless for me, so thank you for sharing the good, bad, and the ugly of recovery.

  • Reply
    Katie Suter
    May 29, 2015 at 6:14 pm

    Well I have always enjoyed your blogs and have always said I wanted to one day read from beginning to end because I wanted to hear some of the beginning thoughts. I am glad I am reading this because I can’t even begin to say how much you are taking the words right out of my mouth right now. Even though this has been a while ago for you it’s so real to me at this time. I also battled for over 15 years and yes I agree recovery is so hard and it absolutely sucks some days. A lot of my days still feel this way but I am glad as I read that eventually it does get better. I appreciate your honesty and willingness to be vulnerable (which I know isn’t always easy) and put it all out there so thanks.

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