My friend Kathleen MacDonald shared this on Facebook earlier today, and she graciously gave me permission to share it on my blog. I hope you enjoy.
"So how did you turn things around?" is one of the most common questions I get about my recovery-process. I wish there was an easy/short answer...but there isn't. (don't worry --this won't be one of my lonnnnnnnnnnnngggggg-winded status to detail the answer) ~ There were several key components to my final recovery process that led to me becoming recovered...here are a few:
a. I got serious about nutrition and I stopped making me the "exception" to needing to eat b. I got serious about gaining body fat c. I learned to be comfortable feeling uncomfortable and I didn't fall back into the disease every time my body image felt like hell or my guts distended/I felt pregnant d. I got serious about the fact that every purge could be my last e. I got serious about the fact that it wasn't safe to exercise (I ended up taking nearly 2 years off from exercise --which was really hard to do) when I was under-nourished and under-hydrated f. I realized that I needed to 'over-nourish' my body in an effort to replenish and repair all the damage done (even if my bloodwork was 'normal') g. I kept Kitty Westin and Ron & Sally Crist George in my heart/prayers ever day h. I put God in the center of my recovery-process (along with nutrition) i. I did not listen to the doctors who told me that I had to give up gluten and dairy b/c I had "intolerances" -- of COURSE I had intolerances to those foods...I had intolerance to most foods b/c my body was so screwed up from all the years of 'dieting' j. "suicide is not an option" became my mantra -- no matter what, suicide is never the answer k. I disconnected myself from unhealthy relationships l. Recovering became my number one focus --above school, fun, relationships, etc... First Job = recovering m. I dared to dream that RECOVERED existed and I sought after it with all my heart (it exists, trust me!) n. I put the emotional stuff on hold until my brain was better healed - (and guess what --after my brain was healed and I was thinking clearly for the first time in 16 years, I realized that the emotional stuff that had caused me so much pain and trauma...it wasn't as bad as my ED brain had convinced me...and I was able to heal from it vs. sink into deep despair) o. I got rid of life-expectations that I had for myself (ie: I must have my Ph.D. by the time I'm 30)...and I just focused on recovering...and I trusted that Ph.D programs would still be available when I was recovered ;-) p. I stopped trying to help others and I learned to 100% focus on me q. Gretz, the Super Setter --enough said. r. I learned to forgive myself s. I ate thru the pain t. I stopped purging u. I stopped believing that I was ugly v. I stopped believing that my body is less-than-beautiful when I am healthy w. I stopped thinking that cellulite is ugly x. I got rid of my scale y. I healed my body image issues thru nutrition, 'sitting with it', and thru learning to see myself and everyone else thru the eyes of God --which means that I see every single human being as beautiful. z. I never gave up on the enigmatic power of Hope.