Confession: I’m terrified of what people who only know me on a surface level, or who used to know me but haven’t watched this process of illness and recovery would think of me if they found out I am in recovery from an eating disorder.
Now, I don’t think it’s necessarily something to go around proclaiming to the world. “Look at me! I just got out of treatment for an eating disorder and I’m actually sustaining my recovery (even though i just got out a week ago)!!” There’s a time and a place, and there is wisdom in being cautious, especially with something as personal as this.
However, I also don’t think it’s appropriate that I’m feeling shame about my recovery.
When I was sick, I had less of a problem telling people that I was struggling with an eating disorder. It was more obvious, and it made me feel strong and empowered…as twisted as that is. In recovery, I feel strong and empowered sometimes, but at least right now, I feel physically and emotionally drained. I don’t feel like this is something to be proud of, even though I know it is.
The shame might come from my body. Being home has made my body image so much worse. I look in my bathroom mirror and I see my body as it is, but I remember what it was. It might come from the fact that I miss being sick. I know it’s a common feeling, but who in their right mind would miss that hell? It might come from the knowledge that people won’t see me as someone who needs help. I’m capable of caring for myself now, but I always go back to wanting people to take care of me.
Another part of me feels that if people see me in recovery, but they didn’t know me before, all of the valient effort that I put forth will go to waste. I want people to be proud of my recovery, but I feel like I’ll just be “that girl”.
I don’t really know. It could be a combination of all of those things. The biggest question that I have to ask myself is, “why does it even matter?”
Why does it matter of people don’t see the sickness. Why does it matter if people who don’t know me judge me? Why does it matter if people didn’t see me throughout the treatment process?
What matters now is that I’m here. Using my voice. Speaking my truth. Hoping that one day I’ll stop looking back and romanticizing the illness. I’m in recovery, and I’m really, really proud of myself for that.