This time last year… not so much. Last year on the morning of November 20th I passed out and split my forehead open. I had to get 8 stitches. This was a direct result of my eating disorder. I think back to Kaitlyn a year ago and want to hug her.
She was so scared. She lied to her family, friends, and doctors about what happened. She was so desperate to maintain control that she wasn’t willing to acknowledge the severity of the situation. Recovery wasn’t even an option for me at that point. I was drowning in the depths of my eating disorder, falling victim to a commonly held belief of people with eating disorders, that I wasn’t sick enough for help.
Somewhere in the past year things started the shift for me. I am so deeply thankful that they did.
I am happier and healthier right now than I ever could have dreamed of being this time last year. It feels funny saying that because I’ve been having a tough couple of weeks. Lots of really stressful and unexpected things started happening and I felt so helpless and out of control. I’ve been having a hard time and not using all my healthy coping skills all the time like I would have hoped.
And it is important to recognize all the healthy coping skills I have gained over the past year. I now can take my medicine without shame, knowing that it helps me feel better (and who wouldn’t want that?!). I have the world’s most incredible roommates who go above and beyond to check in with me and be the most supportive they can be. I keep showing up for myself and going to therapy. I recognize when I use negative coping skills and not feel ashamed, rather find a healthier way to handle things.
It’s progress. It’s not picture perfect. Recovery isn’t picture perfect. I’ve been feeling pretty guilty lately about running a food blog and talking about my recovery because I don’t have it all figured out.
Let me say this loud and clear – I think there is a certain danger to not talking about being in the process. When we only talk about hard things we have gone through once they’re over and we have perfectly processed everything, it takes away the space for ourselves and others to be going through it.
I’m not doing it perfectly, recovery that is. And I’m doing it the best I know how. I woke up and ate donuts to celebrate my roommate’s 22nd birthday. I sang background harmonies on my friends’ ep, something I’ve dreamed about having the courage to do forever. I am on my way to babysit where I’ll be jumping on the trampoline and not feel like I’m going to pass out because I have been nourishing myself the right way.
These things might seem small, and to me they are huge victories. I’m working on it. I’m doing the best I can. I am deeply grateful for all the progress I’ve made and healing I’ve experienced. I know there is still a long way to go, and I’m ready and willing to do the work.
This day last year wasn’t all bad either. It was the wakeup call I needed. It was the day I knew I loved my boyfriend. I’m a completely different person this November 20th. I am dedicated to working towards recovery. I can’t help but think me from last year would be pretty dang proud. I am pretty dang proud of me