It fades, but never truly goes away
Obviously when you first go to therapy for an eating disorder, you are going to be told that you CAN fully recover. Its a part of the whole 'you can do this' and 'don't give up' motivation. I remember being told this every week and thinking to myself I just do not see how that is ever going to happen. I had gone past the point of return.
I would like to think I am more of a glass half full kind of girl but the thought of fully recovering was something that I just couldn't vision. Yes you can recover from illness, but mental illnesses are something different. They do not f**k about. They get so ingrained into your thoughts that they become a part of you. A part of you that you secretly love and confide in. They give you a superpower. So, one person telling you that it will all go away makes you seriously question that.
Now, I would like to write this and say that I have proven myself wrong, but here I am. Still in recovery and it still hasn't gone away. I am A LOT better than what I used to be. I can pretty much eat anything and have fewer rules around food, but I have accepted that Im still not free.
I will always have a snack and hate myself for it. I will always go for an Americano because a Latte is 'too much.' I will always say no to ketchup because its extra calories. And I will always struggle with having a cocktail because why have a cocktail when you can have a vodka and Diet Coke? I will always have a fear of avocados.
My eating disorder will always be with me in some way or another. Some days it may be stronger. Somedays I will skip lunch or force myself to exercise when I REALLY don't want to. But others, Ill be fine. I will allow myself to have a pizza and be totally cool with it. I will have 3 VK's on a night out and have no regrets about it. Bu then, probably the next day, it will come back again.
I will always have little 'eating disorder behaviours' that will be mine to own. That will be unique to me and will stick around to subtly remind me that the disorder is still there. It is muted, and in the back of my head, but it has developed into a part of me. And if Im honest, Im okay with that. Because Ive always been scared to find out who I am without an eating disorder.
One day I asked my family friend whether her disorder had gone away and her response was: 'basically, but it takes me about half an hour to order from a restaurant. Ill make a decision and 10 minutes later find the waitress to change it. Or ill panic that get something that I really don't want.'
And you know what- thats fine. Because at one point she probably couldn't even go inside a restaurant without panicking. Eating disorders develop over a long time. They become so incredibly strong inside your head. So strong that they can convince you to starve yourself- as sad as it sounds- to death. So, you shouldn't expect for it to fully go away.
You can become aware of it. You can realise when your disorder has come into the foreground again, but you are strong enough to push it away. And you never know, maybe one day I will prove myself wrong. But for the time being- Im happy where I'm at. Im not completely free. I still restrict. I still say no and tell myself that I cant. But for now, that's ok.
Im not going to pressure myself.
I do want a f**king avocado tho.