What I Dream About in Eating Disorder Recovery
Editor’s note: If you struggle with self-harm, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741. For a list of ways to cope with self-harm urges, click here.
I dream one day I will be freed from the shackles of anxiety‘s chaos. Freed from the pounding heart, shallow breaths and rattled nerves. The insecurities, fears and chronic doubts. Freed from the desire to tear at my nails, scratch up my hands and carve into my own soft flesh.
I dream one day my moods will be governed by the ebb and flow of life’s sweet mysteries. The fluctuations of health, wealth and a good night’s sleep — or even the random roll of Lady Luck’s dice. Not the vagaries of depression‘s dark grip upon my spirit and strength, sapping emotional fortitude and the will to participate in life.
I dream that one day I can care for my body by nourishing it with wholesome foods, strengthening it with regular exercise and loving it for all the gifts it has bequeathed me. Freed from the powerful grip of an intense eating disorder that thwarts my every effort to seek recovery. Freed from the endless internal dialogue of eating disorder voices. Freed from the need to punish myself by binging, purging until my throat is raw and starving myself until a misty veil is drawn across my reality.
I dream that one day I will look in the mirror and see a body that has nurtured and nourished three little babies. Indulged in the sensuous intimacies of carnal love. Experienced pleasure and pain, and carried me tirelessly across the globe and back again. A reflection that no longer distorts my image and highlights every flaw — real or imagined — and represents a lifetime of failure and lost hope.
I dream that one day I can remove the mask I so carefully constructed at a tender young age. A mask that hides insecurities, sadness and fear. Hides depression, anxiety and bulimia. A mask that portrays confidence, wisdom and hope to an audience always willing to accept at first glance, the visage they are presented with.
I dream that one day I will yearn for more days to come. That the anticipation of working, writing, travel, grandchildren, love and friendship will offer comfort, joy and an extended sense of purpose in the future.
I dream that one day, I will become whole.
If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, you can call the National Eating Disorders Association Helpline at 1-800-931-2237.
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Thinkstock photo via TataGD.