I one time saw this perfect analogy about my eating disorder- and since have shared it with many people struggling with different kinds of addictions.
It went like this: I was walking down the street and I fell down a hole, I was lost and had no idea where I was, it took me a long time and a lot of help to get out of the hole.
I was walking down the street and I fell down a hole, I knew where I was- I kind of liked the hole, it took me a little bit to ask for help to get out, but eventually I did.
I was walking down the street and I saw a familiar hole, I jumped right in. I knew where I was and I stayed for a little bit before asking for help to get out.
I was walking down the street and I saw a hole, I jumped in then jumped right out- I was not as comfortable in this hole as I once was.
I was walking down the street and I saw a hole, I put half my body in and half out, I didn’t stay long but I reminisced for a little.
I was walking down the street and I saw a hole, I walked around it but I couldn’t stop thinking about jumping in.
I walked down a different street, one without a hole. I am better now.
I love this analogy because it makes so much sense to me, as a chronic relapser in my eating disorder. I love walking down my little street and hopping into my comfortable little hole. I always have. Sometimes I’m scared I always will. I walk down this street now and I look at the hole. That is where I am at right now. Looking at my eating disorder but not jumping in. It’s uncomfortable for me to live without my favorite coping mechanism.
I don’t know if I will ever walk down a different street. It seems so foreign to me. Being better, forever? Is it self doubt or am I a realist?
I ask people I know who have recovered how they did it, how did they learn to love themselves? Do they love themselves? Are they happy? Do they like there “recovered” body? I’d fucking settle for accepting myself at this point- I don’t have to love myself, but if I could accept myself at this weight without the thoughts of a diet taking up space in my head- that would be a huge win for me.
Some of them say they like themselves most days, but have bad days still too. Most of them say they just learned to live with not liking there bodies and assume they never will.
I don’t really think that sounds too appealing. I can’t imagine living my entire life in this middle ground where I don’t like how I look and feel. Living my life wishing my body was anyone else’s. Honestly, it makes recovery seem kind of miserable if you ask me.
I have set out so many times to love myself and my body and failed. I have tried to accept myself and my body only to feel bogged down with frustration. I have fallen victim to the “if my body looked like this I would like myself more” only to wish my body looked different when I finally achieved some dumb goal.
I know I can’t go back to the way I was but I also don’t want to stay here. In this in between.
I have come so far but now I’m at this uncomfortable stand still. I’m stagnant. I’ve done all I can myself and can feel myself playing tug of war with my ED and my hands are starting to hurt and my grip is getting weaker.
I want to walk down a different road but I don’t know how.
Do I really want to walk down a different road? Or do I want to dive into my familiar hole?
God, I don’t really know. I just know I don’t want to feel like this. How do I stop feeling like this? If I could magically unknow the comfort of my eating disorder, if I could go back in time and re do it all, I really would. I don’t like being the way I am. I don’t like calculating calories in my head. I want to shut it off.
I want to walk down a different road but I don’t know how and I think that trying and failing scares me more because then what the fuck do I do. What if I try and I don’t get better? What if I walk down a different road and it just ends up taking me in a giant loop? Then what will I do?
Failure has never been an option, and maybe that’s why I’ve always been so afraid to try.