I’ve been reflecting on the stages of recovery and realizing that no matter where you may be in your journey, it is always valid. No part of working on yourself or attempting to move forward from your pain invalidates anything you went through to get here. No part of giving up the negative coping mechanisms of your illness is easy. Just because you’re not constantly struggling doesn’t mean you’re not working hard. Don’t minimize what you’re doing for yourself. Don’t dismiss all your hard work.
I’ve been struggling to mentally let go of my eating disorder and my past but I know It’s a process – you don’t just magically go from sick to well overnight. Just because I’m doing better now than I was before doesn’t mean I’m not sick. It doesn’t mean I never needed help nor does it mean I don’t still. I’m not letting myself off the hook just yet. I’m not going to let my eating disorder wriggle it’s way back in by telling me that if I’m relatively “well” now I was never sick to begin with, but sometimes I can’t help but feel illegitimate. I recognize this is likely my disease talking – saying I seem to have walked away from some habits too “easily”. Telling me that a “real recovery” requires more relapsing. The point is, there’s no one way to do recovery just as there’s no one way to be sick. The fact that I’m feeling these things and even doubting the severity of my sickness is proof in itself that I DO have a problem. It’s proof that I need to keep fighting. My recovery process has nothing to do with the legitimacy of my disorder. My recovery is about me, my disease is not. Staying sick wouldn’t be for me. It would be for my disease. Getting better is for myself. Getting better doesn’t ask if I’m sick enough. My disease does. I don’t need to remain miserable or be at my worst to be worthy of recovery. No matter where I am in my recovery journey I am worthy, even if I can’t always see it.
That’s what’s kinda nice about the group programs I’ve started going to – they don’t care what stage you’re at, they just care that you’re trying. They just care that you show up. No one is proving anything to anyone with their recovery journey. It’s individually our own. We are all there for ourselves (at least in some small way I hope) and that’s ultimately what matters.
I’ve only just started and I’ve got a long way to go yet but I didn’t come this far just to come this far. I’m proving to myself day by day that I can do it.