Hungry For Change Day 2: Top 10 Reasons for Recovery

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

I know that somewhere along the way I made a huge running list of "Recovery Pro's" in one of my journals, I just can't find it now.  If I do, I will be sure to update this post.  Speaking of journaling, I have been going through all of my old journals and man!  That is a blast from the past.  It reminds me all the more how grateful I am to be in recovery.  I know that my reasons for recovery have varied from time to time.  In fact, my very first motivation for recovery was simply so that I could go home from an in-patient treatment center.  Ha!  Of course I know now that isn't true recovery and certainly not motives that make for a lifelong recovery (as was evidenced by my major relapse a year later).  But for this assignment, I'll write all the reasons I choose to stay in recovery today.  If I have time, I'll go back and write what my motives have been in the past and see how they've evolved.  (No promises, though... naptimes (for the babe) are short these days!)


10. Eating is enjoyable.  I know this sounds like a weird place to start, but its #10 on my list because although its not super important, it adds up to the quality of life I want to live in recovery.  As everyone knows, food is a part of life.  But I truly believe that God gave us the gift of taste and smell and sight and sound for good reasons.  One of them, being to enjoy the foods that he has placed on this earth to nourish us.  Without writing a book on this topic, eating in moderation (and sometimes a little extra splurge) is supposed to be enjoyable.  Since being in recovery I have taken so many "risks" that my former ED-self would have never taken.  Thanks to recovery, I've enjoyed beef patties & strawberry daiquiries on the beach in Jamaica at 10 am.  I've tasted the most amazing gnocchi, pizza, pasta, crepes and gelato in Italy-- and not once did I worry about the calories.  I love to travel and eating is a part of enjoying and getting to know the cultures.  I am so thankful that being in recovery allows me the freedom to do that.

9. Extra mind space.  I cringe when I think back to how much of my mental energy and time was spent counting calories of food I'd eaten, deducting calories for excessive exercise, then figuring up how much "activity" I had left to work it all off.  I'm not good at math people!  I hate it!  But yet 90% of my waking hours were consumed with these thoughts.  I've been in active recovery nearly 10 years now, and believe it or not, there are weeks that go by when I don't even think about my life before recovery.  My mind is filled with many more things nowadays- uplifting things like loving my husband and caring for my daughter.  Life is busy can jumbled enough as it is right now- I have no time to go back to the ED mindset!

8. Energy.  This kind of goes along with #9, but I just remember when I was so sick, I had no energy.  I had no drive to do much of anything that wasn't ED-related.  I lived life in a fog and was lethargic and apathetic.  That's no way to go through life!  These days, I still could use more energy but it has nothing to do with ED... it has more to do with chasing my daughter and just keeping up with life! :)

7. Friendships.  Eating disorders are very isolating.  I alienated myself from my friends during my illness, and though they were fantastic enough to stand by me and still love me, I was emotionally vacant for them.  Being in recovery allows me to invest in true, deep friendships with others, and as I am just discovering, that is truly one of the greatest lifelines God has given us in this world. 

6. Relationship with my family.  I was just a teenager when all of my ED started, and to say it drove a wedge in my family is a drastic understatement.  The lies that accompany an ED-lifestyle are too numerous and hurtful to imagine.  Being honest in recovery has allowed me a better relationship with my parents and siblings.  I did a lot of damage to those relationships in my ED years.  And while I can't get those years back, I can work hard towards being the daughter and sister that I wasn't for so long. 

5. I've come too far.  That's pretty self-explanatory.  The first time I went into treatment, my sole goal for recovery was just so I could get out after my 60 days were over.  Not much sticking power in that motivation, I'll tell ya!  Yes I was the poster child for recovery- weight was up at the top of my "healthy range", was keeping all my necessary appointments, etc.  But that made the fall into relapse all the greater.  The second time in treatment was much slower.  But this time I was determined to make it stick.  And because the second time in recovery was so much more difficult, and I had to fight so much harder, there is no way in HELL I am going to do that again.  I've come too far to refer to my old demons for coping.  (Please don't mistake this for complacency in recovery, though.)

4. I didn't want to carry it into adulthood.  When I was at the second treatment center, we'll call it TC2, I was with women and men of all ages.  The first center it was just girls my age.  But being with such a vast demographic of fellow ED_sufferers really openend my eyes.  There was one woman in particular who really motivated my recovery.  She was in her 50's, had several kids, but was so sick in her ED.  She was sneaky, conniving and completely consumed with ED.  I knew I didn't want my life to be like that.  I wanted to be able to eat pizza at midnight in my dorm and not obsess over it for days.  (I'm happy to say- that recovery goal happened!  A lot!!)

3. I've lost friends to ED's.  Eating disorders truly are life or death.  I had my own near-death experience, where I thought I was going to die from it.  I begged God to give me another chance at life.  And that was what started the ball rolling on my TC2 recovery.  They used to always say that the best anorexic is a dead anorexic.  You can be the best until you're dead.  Well, I wanted to be the best at everything but I certainly didn't want to be dead.  That was a huge battle I had to fight in my recovery journey.  Along the way I've made some incredible friends.  But sadly, several of them have succumbed to their ED's.  I remember one friend in particular.  She was from the first TC and we were so close.  We'd talk about what we wanted to do when we were "better."  How we wanted live life.  She wanted to be a flight attendant, because she loved flying.  Though we lost contact through the years, I've often thought of her as I got on planes.  Would I see her on this flight?  How cool would that be?  Then one day, I got the email... she never made it out of her ED.  She died very much still sick, very suddenly.  She was only 25.  So I know the frailty of life.  how precious it is and how I don't want to waste it being sick.

2. My baby girl.  Perhaps the second biggest motivator (after #1) in my recovery.  I want my daughter to grow up with a confident, happy, joy-filled mother.  I want to teach her to love herself.  That she doesn't have to be perfect.  That life won't be easy but she doesn't have to self-destruct to survive.  I want to model for her what a strong woman looks like. I her to intrinsically know that she was created by God for a purpose, and that she was handmade just the way she is.  Talk about a reason for recovery!

1. To give glory to God.  All things in life boil down to one thing: Giving God the glory.  Its why we are here on this earth, its the very reason we were created.  Once I figured this out and really believed it, everything changed.  There is no room for an ED in a life that is bringing glory to God.  There is no room for self-deprication, self-harm and loathing.  We are created in the image of God, to be a reflection of Christ for the world to see.  And when it comes down to it, that simply cannot co-exist with an eating disorder.

Whew!  So there are my reasons for recovery.  What are your's?

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1 Lovely Words

  1. angel this is such a beautiful post. I found myself smiling throughout and know your words will bring light and encouragement to people. Bless you xxx


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