rachel. (almost_home) wrote in ed_ucate,

100% recovery

i've been dwelling on this and going over & over it in my head and yet i can't seem to work out what the actual conclusion is..

can you totally, 100% fully recover from an eating disorder?

i realise that everyone's recovery is different. everyone heals differently and to different extents and it's all individual and blah blah blah.. BUT each person's recovery must be dependent on so many things, mustn't it? they say the longer you've been sick, the longer it takes to get better. & obv if your eating disorder is more severe it will take you longer to get better. & some people might choose to stop at a certian point rather than keep going to "total" health and...

i just want to know whether it's possible to recover 100%...

& yes i realise that it's cliche because it's from wasted. but hornbacher makes some hard hitting points here.

i took a leap of faith. and i believe that has made all the difference. i hung on to the only thing that seemed real to me, and that was a basic ethical principle: if i was alive, then i had a responsibility to stay alive and do something with the life i had been given. and though i was not all convinced when i made that leap of faith - it was worth it. it is worth it. its a fight. its exhausting. but its a fight i believe in.

i know for a fact sickness is easier.
but health is more interesting.

the leap of faith is this: you have to believe, or at least pretend you believe until you really believe it, that you are strong enough to take life head on. eating disorders, on any level, are a crutch - quite simply a way of avoiding the banal, daily, itchy pain of life. you don't have to think about any of the nasty minutiae of the real world because you are having a real drama - not a sitcom but a GRAND EPIC, all by yourself. & what all this grandiosity covers - and not very well, i might add - is a very basic fear that the world will gobble you up the minute you step into it. the fear, too, is a fear of yourself: a completely dualistic & contradictory fear. on one hand it is a fear that you do not have what it takes to make it, and on the other hand, a possibly greater fear that you do have what it takes, and that by definition, you therefore also have a responsibility to do something really big. it's a little daunting.

i had to decide that whatever happened, i would be all right. that was the hardest decision i've ever made. to protect myself no matter what happened. when you decide to throw down your cards, push back from your chair, and leave the game, it's a very lonely moment. it is not a sudden leap from sick to well. it is a slow, strange meander from sick to mostly well. there is no "cure". a pill will not fix it, though it may help. ditto therapy, ditto food, ditto endless support from family and friends. you fix it yourself. it is the hardest thing that i have ever done, and i found myself stronger for it. much stronger. never underestimate the power of desire. if you want to live badly enough, you can live. the greater question seems to be - how do i decide i want to live?

life is essentially trivial. you either decide you will take the trite business of life and decide to do something really trivial or you decide you will opt for the Grand Epic of eating disorders. you go back and forth, a little Grand Epic here and a little cool trivial stiff there. and every goddamn day i have to think up a reason to live.

it's never over. not really. not when you've lived in the nether-world longer than you've lived in this material one, where things are bright and large and make strange noises. you never come back, not all the way. always there is this odd distance between you and the people you love and the people you met, a barrier, thin as the glass of a mirror. you never come all the way out of the mirror; you stand, for the rest of your life, with one foot in this world and one in another, where is everything is upside down, backward and sad.

& there is a weird aftermath, when it is not exactly over, and yet you have given it up. you go back and forth in your head, often, about giving it up. it's hard to understand, when you are sitting there in your chair, having breakfast or whatever, that giving it up is stronger than holding on, that "letting yourself go" could mean that you have succeeded rather than failed. you eat your goddamn chocolate and bicker with the bitch in your head who keeps telling you you're fat and weak: Shut up, you say. I'm busy, leave me alone. & when she leaves you alone there's a silence and a solitude that will take some time getting used to. you will miss her, sometimes. bear in mind she's trying to kill you - but you have a life to live. it's an incredible loss, a profound grief. and, in the end, after a long time and with more work that you ever thought possible, a time when it gets easier. there is, in the end, the letting go.

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