To Those Who Can't See Light at the End of the Anorexia Recovery Tunnel
I always thought people were lying to me when they said the words “It gets better.” I thought I would wake up and fear the food I would have to eat for every single day of the rest of my life. Yet, I woke up this morning after having a three-course meal with some friends and never felt more joy.
The last few years, anorexia clouded my perception of what the world had to offer me. My life was consumed by thoughts associated with food, weight and calories. I had no enthusiasm for recovery; I felt purely controlled by fear of food. Listening to anorexia led to me being unable to support myself, yet now I am sitting here a year later about to make myself pancakes for breakfast. Everything has changed.
Accepting recovery is one of the greatest choices I have ever made. At first, it felt unnatural and painful. It would involve crying and refusing food, yet five minutes later, picking the fork up and completing the meal. It would involve planning relapse, yet waking up and doing the opposite. And it involved powering through the hardest moments in my journey. Slowly, it got easier. It got easier to say yes to the piece of pizza or the slice of cake, but it wasn’t just food that got better; my gratitude towards life improved. I began to smile more, laugh more, dance more, I started to accept myself and my imperfections more. Since starting my recovery, I have done things I never thought I would have the opportunity to do; I started to live, I opened up more, I went out for meals, I went on holidays, I helped people who were fighting similar battles.
In my darkest hours, people told me to never give up, even if I couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, and for a while I couldn’t see it. However, I am soon celebrating a year since being discharged from the hospital, I have handed in my university application to study psychology in the hope of helping others, I am going traveling for nine months in my gap year, I have a job, and I am soon taking my final exams. Choosing recovery from anorexia has been the hardest thing I have ever done, and it certainly has not been a straight line. There have been relapses and breakdowns, but there have been such beautiful moments, too. And for me, each of those happy moments makes the worst moments worth it.
To those who struggle to see the light at the end of the tunnel: In the end, I don’t believe anybody can say they regretted recovery. Choosing recovery can give you infinite opportunities that you may miss out on if you continue to believe what anorexia tells you. I could never imagine myself in the place I am today; however, each day living in recovery, my life keeps improving, and I know every step I take in recovery will lead me to one day being fully recovered.
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