I've been laying low for almost a week now. I haven't been perfect. I've been depressed, and I've acted out on eating disorder symptoms. I thought that if I wasn't optimistic about my recovery, or moving forward every day, that I shouldn't be posting on this blog. After all, I want to give you hope that recovery is possible. But, the depression hasn't lifted, and the fight against my disorder has continued to intensify. I kept telling myself that I would feel better tomorrow, and I would post about my progress tomorrow. But tomorrow kept turning into today, and I was still depressed. I felt like I was losing the battle, and I didn't want to write about it. But, if this blog is going to help anyone, it has to be honest. And, recovery isn't perfect. There are bad days; there are days when I'll lose a battle. But, losing a battle doesn't mean I've lost the war. So, today, I'm choosing to write about the hard stuff, the times when I haven't felt optimistic about recovery, and the times when I've slipped up. Let me just say this: relapse is not a requirement for recovery. But, for me, lapses have been part of the journey. The important thing is to learn from the mistakes and keep fighting.
Yesterday, I gave in to my eating disorder, but it was different from any other time I have acted on symptoms. Oftentimes, people refer to their eating disorder as "Ed." Before treatment, I thought it was silly to give my disorder a name, a separate identity from myself. But, I've found that it's the best way to describe it. In my head, there are two people: Lily and Ed. For a long time, Ed got to tell me what to do. I didn't know how to stand up to Ed, so I did whatever he suggested. In treatment, I learned techniques for fighting Ed. Now, I know that he is wrong, but knowing that that doesn't always translate into disobeying him. Yesterday, I won the mental battle, but lost the physical one. I knew that Ed was wrong, that I didn't need my eating disorder to cope with depression. But, I did what he said anyway. I was so exhausted from fighting a mental battle, that I didn't do anything to stop Ed from controlling my actions. Looking back, I know I could have won. I could have called someone and asked for help. I think the reason I didn't was that I let myself believe that nothing would make me feel as good as giving in to Ed. Of course, giving in only made me feel worse. Next time I am exhausted from fighting, I will reach out for help. I know now that there will be days when Ed is stronger than I am. On those days, I will call for reinforcement.