Today's therapy appt. made me think about recovery and what my goals really are. Sure, it is to be ED-free, but it's not as simple as that.
I was telling her about my fear of "post-marathon" blues. You know it's kind of like the "post-vacation" blues, where you feel depressed and know that you're going back to your old life whatever that may be, except that it becomes worry about backsliding into eating disorder behaviors. I was truly honest with C. and told her that I think one reason why I've done "better" (this is in the context of the last few years) for the last ten months is because my eventual goals were to run marathons.
I felt so hypocritical after saying it, like recovery should be more than just about running marathons. I said to her half-tearful that "I don't want to have a marathon planned in order to allow myself to eat. I want it to be about being healthy and feeling okay with myself." She completely understood what I was saying, but then said and I'm paraphrasing here,
"you know what, if it takes planning a marathon year after year to continue to eat, then maybe that's what you need right now until it becomes about health. I know you'd rather it (recovery) be for intrinsic reasons rather than external ones, but you're just not at that point yet."
I'm not sure how to feel about everything she said. On one hand, it's all true, but on the other, I just feel like I'm such a let down and loser. I know external validation from wherever it comes from can only go so far. You have to get to a point of wanting and creating internal validation or else, you'll continue to keep running in circles. Circles don't end, they're continuous. Lines, goals, and paths end, and that's where I'm hoping to eventually be--on the recovered end.
This was originally written in mid-October, but yet, I’m still grappling with this, especially as I recently e-mailed a friend about this. Her opinion was that I really needed to be careful with this thinking as it can easily become "addictive" and really just perpetuates the cycle.