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If You Can't See the Light at the End of Your ED Recovery Tunnel, Look for This Instead

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One of the most frustrating things about recovery is that it’s really, really hard to throw yourself full force into the exact opposite mindset and lifestyle as what you’re used to. Once you’re there, it’s even harder to stay there.

Blog post after blog post after Pinterest quote after Pinterest quote tells you when you’re struggling, you must keep going anyway. They tell you in recovery you can’t always see the light at the end of the tunnel but you must push forward anyway. And they’re right — push forward, but not because you’re waiting for some light. The light is now. The light is all around you.

The light is my friend, who laid with me on my bed at three in the morning and let me complain to her that I still had calories left to eat today, even though “today” ended three hours ago.

The light is snow that’s fluffy and delicate and still inexplicably strong.

The light is my friend’s mom whom I had never met, but who offered me support when I was down.

The light is hot chocolate with my mom while watching sappy Christmas movies.

The light is the boy from my team who asked me to look at him, who called me by name, who asked me to believe it wasn’t my fault we lost.

The light is my dog, who always finds something to smile about.

The light is an email from dad telling me he loves me.

The light is the guy who let me make a left turn during rush hour.

The light is finding a song that speaks to you.

The light is being homesick because it means you have a home.

The light is when an anxiety attack is over and you can breathe.

The light is my sister, who has seen every part of me and still loves me exactly as I am.

When I struggle in recovery, I don’t wait for the mysterious light at the end of the tunnel; I look for the light around me. It is everywhere, and it is beautiful. Put your faith and hope in that.

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.

Originally published: February 2, 2017
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