child of God, wife, mother, recovering anorexic who longs to see the beauty in herself that she sees in the world around her

Friday, July 22, 2011

good things about recovery

I've been talking with a friend lately about the good things about recovery.  I can read again and actually process what I am reading.  I can play with my kids again (though I am tired of having wrestling Royal Rumbles every day.  Couldn't they like Lego's or something??????).  I can shower without feeling guilty about taking time for me.

I still am discovering who I am though.  I just read a really great post letting go of the ed identity.  I so get this.  I am starting to enjoy life again, but sometimes that old panic creeps up.  What if I completely let go.  Who would I be?  I mean, if I eat that bite of chocolate and don't feel guilty, what will I feel?  If I don't use starving to make me numb, what would I actually feel?  Can I handle it?  Do I know how to live without orange in my ear whispering how she can make it all better?  Who would I be if I were completely free?  Would I be worth my own time?


The other day, mostly out of tired laziness, I realized something kinda cool.  When I was showering, I just never opened my eyes again after rinsing the conditioner out of my hair.  For some unknown reason, I lathered up with my eyes closed.  Here is what I discovered, it wasn't as scary with my eyes closed.  I know, that sounds weird but hear me out.

The way my body felt under my hands was much different than it appeared in the mirror.  Once again a case of the mirror lying.  The problem is that the mirror was lying more than I realized.  Without being able to see every mark, touching my own body was a completely different experience than anything I have ever known in the past. Without looking at myself and picking apart every flaw, I realized that my body is not that of a whale.  With only my hands, no eyes, I "saw" something completely different in myself that I have never seen.

Wondering if it was just a crazy fluke, I intentionally closed my eyes the next day when I showered.  It wasn't a fluke.  For the first time EVER I was able to appreciate things about my body that when I look with my eyes, I just cannot see.  I still don't see in the mirror what I felt.  The mirror is still lying.  But somewhere I deep inside, this time I am able to identify that it is lying.  Something deep inside of me is remembering a feeling instead of a vision. 


I love my new job.  After only 3 weeks, I am going to go solo next week.  I'm good with it, a little nervous, but good.  My friend will pack up after I arrive and go home to her adorable 10 month old son and just be mommy and I will close up shop on my own.  My friend and the managers are all surprised that I feel comfortable with it so quickly.  No one expected me to be on my own until after the rush for fall semester was over.  I am able.  I can do it.  This is just one more area that recovery kind of feels good.

Tomorrow I get to meet with my team of ladies that I will be leading for this upcoming MOPS year.  I am excited!  And for the first time in so many ages, I feel like I have something to contribute.  For the first time in far too long, I feel nearly completely confident that I can do a job that I have committed to.  It does feel good to feel like an asset instead of a liability for a change.


At some point over the last year, I have made actual forward steps in my recovery.  Last fall I was often reminding myself that 2 steps forward 1 step back is still 1 step ahead of where I started.  But as I am reading over this post, I realize that somewhere along the line the forward steps became more clear.  I know I am not "there" (wherever the heck "there" is) but I am further on my journey than I was a year ago and for that I am thankful. 


  1. Remember not that long ago when you told me that my list of extracurricular activities and social involvements made you sick just to think about? You said you could never be a leader in a group, you could never trust yourself to do or say the right thing, and you struggled to commit to doing things that you weren't 100% sure you would be "perfect" at.

    Well look at you, girl! Blowing people away with your ability and comfort level at work, starting to work independently way sooner than expected, leading a group of mom's who you KNOW you have something to contribute to, taking major steps toward recovery ... and acknowledging and appreciating those steps.

    It sounds to me like all of that, "Can I handle it? Who would I be? What would I do? How would I manage?" talk that your orange voice is telling you seems to be answering its own questions :)

  2. That is an amazing thing your discovered in the shower. Keep doing it and do it often! I have a feeling that practicing this will eventually impact what you see in the mirror.

    Unfortunately for me, my misery is very HIGHLY internal and visceral...I don't even have to do anything but sit and feel the flesh existing around my bones. Seriously, someone get a straightjacket. It's crazy!

    So happy for you about the job and of course your newfound sense of entitlement to DO YOU TIME!

    Ps- Legos are super expensive! Careful what you wish for.