My first time in eating disorder treatment was 6 years ago. I was 14 and stubborn. For 6 years, my lack of motivation has stood in the way of recovery.
I’m still stubborn. I’m still terrified. As I prepare to enter treatment for anorexia again, I am trying to figure out how to make this time different.
A thought paces back and forth in the corners of my mind – “I’m not supposed to be struggling anymore.”
When I first decided to share my story of struggling with anorexia, I said that the struggle was over, that I was “recovered.”
In saying that the struggle was over, I was partially correct. The struggle was over because I chose to stop fighting. My idea of “recovery” consisted of being alive. Yet, I did not cease old habits. I did not make the effort to punch my thoughts in the stomach. I walked away instead.
In place of challenging my destructive thought patterns, I diverted my attention to school, friends, and activities. Meanwhile, fear continued to ravage my insides and denial continued to protect my outsides.
I am the founder and co-president of Cubs for Coping, an organization inspired by my hospitalization for anorexia. We provide handmade teddy bears for hospitals, homeless shelters, and eating disorder treatment programs. For my organization, I have shared my story countless times. Countless times, I failed to recognize the most important aspect of recovery – continuing to fight to the best of our abilities on a given day. I resigned myself to the plateau where you don’t die, but you don’t really live either.
Will this time in treatment be different? I hope so. I’ve never admitted to myself that, when I say I can do it all on my own, I’m really saying I want “alone time” with my eating disorder.
Yes, I founded a nonprofit spreading messages of hope and recovery. Yes, in the past, I did say that I was “recovered.” However, it’s time for me to change the narrative.
We are all allowed to struggle and shine simultaneously. We can spread hope while lacking it ourselves, if we are choosing to participate in the struggle for hope.
Being passive hasn’t worked for me. I’m still stubborn and terrified. But, this time in treatment, I plan to give up the “alone time” with my invisible friend “Ana” to make room for the real people in my life.
If you would like to donate to Cubs for Coping, please click here. To contact Cubs for Coping to donate sewing supplies or other services, please visit their website. Follow Cubs for Coping on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Tags: #bodyboop, anorexia, anorexia recovery, Cubs for Coping, eating disorder, eating disorder recovery, eating disorder treatment, eating disorders, ED, ED recovery, edrecovery, mental health, Nicole Javorsky, recovery