In the grips of Anorexia, I drowned in guilt.
Guilt for eating. Guilt for restricting. Guilt over the pain I was causing, to myself, my body and those around me. Guilt for the time I was losing in this…
“One f*cking life of yours”.
I felt this, and yet the strength of Anorexia left me paralysed to making the changes the tiny scared person inside of me knew I needed, and desperately wanted to make.
Yet, I got better. I found ‘recovery’. I fight for it every single day.
I consistently build on that version of ‘better’. I struggle. I triumph. I cry. I laugh. I learn. I grieve. I talk.
Did I ever mention…recovery is on-going?
In my opinion, it’s never a place you get to with a trophy waiting at the end. Unlike with many physical conditions, often people don’t ever walk home with a slip of paper saying ‘all clear’.
Last week, I launched my website for my new business; Backing my Body (blog post to come on this!). So many kind, wonderful people from my past and in my present have offered words of encouragement, love and support for this new adventure of mine. I’m so lucky. Yet, alongside many other emotions, I feel this deep sense of guilt. A different guilt to the one felt when I was suffering. This is a new guilt…kind of like, survivors guilt?
Did I have more tools than others to help me get to this place?
Did I get offered more treatment? More support? Were more resources and time pumped into me and my recovery?
Did I have a solid support network? If I hadn’t, would I be in this position now?
Did I have the right ‘face’ for Anorexia? Did this mean I got offered things that others weren’t?
How is it fair that others are still struggling?
Did I just…get lucky?
I have wonderful friends, and I spoke to one of them about this very feeling. She’s wise, and she told me this (and now I’m going to tell you, incase you feel the guilt of recovery too).
My Eating Disorder was different to anyone else’s Eating Disorder. It may have the same name, but it’ll never have the same story.
Recovery isn’t about luck. We don’t get better by chance. We can help each other, but we can’t *do it* for it each other. For some of us, we’ll never know what made us better, what triggers our relapse, what keeps us stuck. There isn’t always answers, and there aren’t often reasons.
There isn’t a ‘FREE FROM your Eating Disorder’ pill.
Recovery is there for everyone, yet sadly some don’t find it. Maybe we’ll never really know why.
So what can we do?
Use our stories. Share our experiences. Listen. Learn. Talk. Lift each other up, and sit with each other when we’re down. Cheer for the triumphs and know that my fight will always be your fight.