I can’t even begin to tell you how blocked I have been about writing about my recovery. Do you ever have those moments where you don’t want to talk about it, think about it, do anything about it? For once in your life, you just want to be a normal person who doesn’t have issues with food and exercise, and not have something to announce to the world about your problems every damn time you open your mouth.
The problem with eating disorder recovery, is that if you pretend it’s not there for a long period of time, those self-care routines can fade away and eating disorder voices can creep back in. I don’t ever know what snaps me back into recovery mode, but a couple of weeks ago, it happened. And I welcomed it! Instantly, I realized that I had not been taking care of myself in the way that I could, neglecting healthy exercise and good meal planning.
I should say that I have a very OCD, black-and-white personality, like many people who suffer or have suffered from anorexia nervosa. It’s either one way or the other, and when I “snapped back,” I hit the pedal going 200 miles per hour. I had to be at every yoga class and plan every meal and watch every penny of our budget. After about 10 days of that, I felt myself settle into a pattern that was more normal. I don’t have to do everything at once in an effort to be healthy, but I also shouldn’t just lay around all week doing nothing. There has to be balance.
I’ve considered going back to a dietician, after leaving inpatient treatment 10 years ago. Have any of y’all done this? I think I could use some balance in the way that I think about my diet. Am I doing the right things? What should I be avoiding? What can I have that I’ve been avoiding? The last time I really went through a meal plan was when I was refeeding, and we all know it’s less about choice then and more about medical stability. Now, I’m healthy and I have CHOICE, but I feel like I need guidance. And then there’s insurance. Oh, insurance. I pay more than $400/month for my health insurance and have a THREE THOUSAND DOLLAR deductible. And I guarantee you a dietician is not covered if I don’t have something like diabetes or a baby that needs to be delivered soon, and if it is covered, it’s at least $75/visit.
But I digress… the debate right now, for me, is actually not regarding health insurance, but regarding my willingness to do the hard work and take care of myself. Do I accept days at a time when I don’t move my body and don’t talk to people and don’t eat right? I shouldn’t, and I certainly would not accept that for a friend or family member. My husband will say something, and I make some excuse about how I was up late.
The root of everything related to self care for me is one thing: SLEEP. When I take my melatonin, go to bed at 9pm and wake up refreshed and with enough energy to go to an early morning class, my entire week gets better. My relationship with my husband is better, my ability to tackle work improves, I eat better and on a more regular schedule.
There’s also something to be said when you don’t follow the self-care rules you’ve laid out for yourself. My husband and I decided to have a date night this past week after two months of not going out, and when I woke up the next morning, I immediately started beating myself over the money spent and having less energy the next day. Hell, I was probably beating myself up in my dreams that night. But no one is perfect, and even if it takes me some time to believe it, I have to remember that I can’t be all things all the time to everyone.
I also highly recommend acupuncture, for anyone who has not tried it. More on that for another post! Wishing everyone health, happiness and strength in their recoveries. xoxo