Time to Tell Myself a Different Story

“There are times in our lives when we have to realize our past is precisely what it is, and we cannot change it. But we can change the story we tell ourselves about it, and by doing that, we can change the future.”

~ Eleanor Brown

I’ve been trying to figure out how to write this blog and say what I want to say, but I feel like that quote captures it so well.

I’m going home in 1 week and 1 day. I’ve convinced myself that going home this time is going to be the exact same as every time I’ve gone home in the past.

I keep looking back and telling myself that it’s impossible for anything to be different. It doesn’t matter that I’m going home in a much different state of mind than every other time. It doesn’t matter that physically, I’m healthier than I’ve ever been. I’ve never been healthy at home, so I can never be healthy at home. End of story. I’m going to relapse anyways, so why not start now?

This belief has got to change, and the only way for me to change it is to start telling myself a different story. Yes, it is true that I’ve never been healthy at home. However, it’s also true that I’d never been healthy here either, and I’ve managed to come back into environments in which the only association I had was completely taken over by the eating disorder and do well.

Since I went to treatment in January, I have done so, so much work. I’ve done lots of individual work which has been integral to my recovery process, but I also did some family work. I have seen tremendous growth and transformation in the midst of my family relationships. I’ve seen methods of communication develop between all members of my family. I’ve felt more loved, supported, and cared for by my parents in the last few months than I have in my entire life. I’ve never gone home and had a real relationship with my family.

There are so many differences about my time at home this time around, and yet I’m still stuck in this belief that it’s not going to be any different.

I suppose that’s it though. I’m getting stuck in the past, skipping the present, and allowing the past to determine my future. I need to start telling myself a different story. I need to start telling myself that I can use my past experiences to inform me of where I need to be on guard. I can go in with my guard up because I know exactly where the major struggles are.

I am not powerless here. I’ve found my voice here at school. I know how to speak up and get my needs met. But, it’s as if I just surrender all that power willingly as soon as I find out that I’m going home. The choice is mine. Will I continue to stand my ground and fight? Will I prove to myself that I can be at home in a healthy way? Or will I continue to play along with the patterns that have been developed over the last many, many years.

I want to say that I’ve decided to go home and fight because I know that’s the right thing to say. However, I’m still feeling scared. I’m scared of what it would mean for me to do well for two more months and then come back. To me, going home and doing well means that I am even closer to recovered than I had thought possible. Going home and doing well means that I’m getting better once and for all. No more games.

Life is terrifying. Life at home is terrifying. Life without an eating disorder is even more terrifying. Life with an eating disorder forever and ever is the most terrifying thing possible.

I guess I know what that means. I can go home and do exactly what I need to do. I can go home and shock everyone who’s never seen me healthy. I can go home and prove to myself that I can do this.

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