Rosewood and treatment in general was something I was insanely skeptical about. I thought an eating disorder was just a way of life for some people. I figured once you have one, you are stuck with it. And also in my distorted thinking I thought my eating disorder was kind of healthy and my compulsive exercise meant I was “disciplined”. So part of me felt like there was no point in treatment, “they’ll stabilize my weight and make me eat.” That’s all I thought would happen.
“My thoughts will never change.”
“The urges will never fade.”
“I am “healthy” with my disorder.”
In the beginning of the process of surrendering, I started to realize this wasn’t going to be easy.
I didn’t want to do the meal plan. I didn’t want to have exercise restricted. But once I saw my reaction to my meal plan and exercise, I started realizing maybe things can get better because this for sure isn’t okay and maybe the disorder did have control over me. I was a mess. I lied multiple times to my dietician and therapist because I wanted to get away with behaviors and for a while I felt totally justified in doing that. And all the times I cried over food, or not getting to exercise, or missing things because exercise seemed like a better option, or I had doctors’ appointments and therapy appointments, or when I snapped at my family, and had crazy mood swings started flooding into my memory and I started seeing the disorder as a negative thing. Even if it took me a long time to recognize that. I’ve realized my eating disorder might have comforted me and times, but it sure as hell wasn’t doing me any favors.
I would say real progress started happening when I stopped thinking I knew more than the dietitians and therapists and starting listening to them and listening to my body and reminding myself I want a full life. I don’t want my mind to be full of thoughts about food, exercise, and hating myself.
I started surrendering. I started realizing I held on to the ED as my sense of control it made me feel “stable”, but I started to see I needed to find stability in my faith and in myself and the people around me.
I needed to handle my anxiety differently I needed to find other ways to deal with anxiety than turning to my eating disorder behaviors. I needed to actually talk, pray, meditate, take a freaking break, relax.
Real progress happened when I started opening up with friends and family I was starting to see they all wanted more for me too and I was letting this disease take what it wanted from me.
Progress happened when I started journaling and for me my faith has been a huge part of this healing process and I actually started praying for healing during treatment. Recovery was always something in the past I avoided in prayers and avoided getting prayed for.
I still struggle with body image stuff sometimes which definitely makes exercise a very tempting thing for me and it makes choosing “safe foods” really tempting too. But now I am following my meal plan with way less stress and tension and eating “challenging” foods way more often and eating more of what I actually want, but most importantly this disorder doesn’t dictate all my thoughts and food is just another thing in my life, it isn’t a stressor. I don’t calculate everything I put into my body or log all of my walking throughout the day and make sure I park weirdly far away and get overwhelmed when I can’t move. I don’t study labels or look up nutritional information for restaurants beforehand. I don’t snap at my family because I can’t eat something or just because. I’ve recently found yoga and realized how healing it is for my mind and body and at some point I hope to do other types of exercise but for now yoga is something I have found peace in and I don’t do it compulsively.
I pray y’all can all find peace and start to feel freedom from this disorder.