Eating Disorder Recovery Makes Me Tired

This week, in therapy, I talked a lot about being tired.

Not the sleepy, didn’t-go-to-bed-early-enough tired.

Tired of the energy it takes to do recovery. Tired of the time I have to spend thinking about what I ought to do to fight the eating disorder, what I need to do to keep myself fueled when what I want to do is hit the “fuck it” button and just stop.

There is a dichotomy between chronic and chosen. With chosen – like a goal or a desire – you can stop if you opt to. You can, for example, decide you want non-decaf coffee today even if your goal was to limit caffeine.

But with chronic, you cannot decide. Your choice is void because it was never your decision to begin with.

When you decide to recover, you waive any possible “fuck it” option. You contend with the idea of never-ending mental energy.

Most of the time, the benefits of recovery vastly supersede the annoyance of your waiver.

But occasionally, the Mephistophelian truth of your decision comes out: you don’t have a choice.

I sound negative. I recognize this. But I also acknowledge that recovery is not universally positive.

A multitude of recovery, the little undiscussed bits and pieces, can fluctuate between the poles of experience: positive, negative, neutral.

Just like the comprehensive trajectory of recovery, the energy consumption annoyance goes up and down. Remember: “recovery isn’t linear.” Turns out, the stamina it takes to consistently pick recovery isn’t linear, either.

However, there is a silver lining (or gold lacquer — just a little kintsukuroi reference there).

In my experience, opting for the endurance it takes to be in recovery is much more preferable to the pertinacity it takes to be symptomatic in an eating disorder. Eating disorders are work, mental energy wise. You think about calories and food and exercise and guilt and your body and etc. and etc.

If you are already putting in the energy, why not have it be directed in the direction of the path giving you back vitality — toward recovery.

Follow this journey here.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Getty image via silverkblack

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Anorexia Nervosa

two women embracing each other in tender way

The Women Who Inspire My Eating Disorder Recovery

Recovering from anorexia nervosa has been the most difficult thing I have experienced in my life. I am incredibly grateful to have such an amazing support system of women helping me along my recovery journey. 1. My Mom In talking with my psychologist, she told me I would not have been a candidate for outpatient [...]

The Latest Episode of 'Dr. Phil' About Anorexia Crossed the Line

Sigh. Dr. Phil has done it again. While I’ve generally resigned myself to the fact that Dr. Phil will continue to push out irresponsible, cringe-worthy TV under the guise of “therapeutic intervention,” his most recent episode on Monday about anorexia crossed the line from irresponsible to dangerous — and it warrants a discussion. The episode follows [...]
A woman wearing a scarf looking away

When Counting Calories Takes Over Your Life

I’ve never been amazing at fast math. I even have to use my fingers adding up the numbers of my Yahtzee roll . I somehow was able to nail an A in calculus, but forth grade addition tables will still get me every time. It’s bad. However, when it comes to calorie counting, I’m basically [...]

What It's Like to Live With the Black and White Thinking of Anorexia

For me, anorexia is a clearly-defined world. It’s a landscape shaped by “good” foods and “bad,” all of which are judged and measured by their caloric value. The numbers on a scale and my beliefs around them were absolute, and these boundaries offered me a curious comfort when I was unwell. One of the most [...]