It’s NEDA: National Eating Disorder Awareness Week.
I had this whole post ready on how I healed my body from my eating disorder and now my life is full of yoga, running, meditation, eating Cadbury Mini-Eggs, and joy.
Which is true and my life is pretty damn sweet.
But this post is going to be about what happens when the demons come back.
I think in order to fully heal, you have to know what it’s like to go back into that dark place and force your way out of it. And if people are going to be emailing me their incredible stories of resilience through disordered eating or diagnosed eating disorders, then I should come clean about my experiences in the hope that if someone is going through the same thing that they can see there’s light on the other side.
Last year, I relapsed.
I relapsed because I hadn’t really healed yet. That’s as basic as I can put it. It started in October of 2011 and lasted until March 2012.
I didn’t revert back into a completely destructive lifestyle. It was much sneakier. I also seriously do have a gluten and lactose allergy, so don’t jump up my ass about that. I was eating enough.
I relapsed in a very specific way, one that, grossly enough, I thought was ‘the safest option’; it wouldn’t cause my physical appearance to change in any way, and it would provide me an outlet. That’s as detailed as I can get about the situation, but just be assured I wasn’t doing anything that would put my health in danger.
Still, it angers me that I let myself go back into a place of mental dust that didn’t allow me to deal with my stress in a healthy way. I should have gone to more yoga classes. I should have allowed more time to relax, read, or do something fun. I should have allowed myself to cry.
So yes. I relapsed.
And then I stopped.
The way I can attempt to explain it is as follows – when something happens in your life that is a force of nature, positively pulling you towards something wonderful, and you resist that pull, God won’t just push you in that direction. He’ll kick you. Hard. Over and over again.
You won’t be able to run away, because God or Spirit or whatever’s up there controlling it all has His of Her foot in your ass. And that’s a big, big foot.
Over the course of a few months, I felt that urge to let go and let God, but suppressed it with bad habits that I allowed back into my life because, of course…they were safer than the unknown. A lot of times our bad habits become comforting.
Then, gradually, I started letting some of those walls come down. The feelings came in tidal waves. I did a lot of crying. Sometimes, I wouldn’t even know why I was crying. It was old wounds working their way out of me. But I think it’s a lot healthier to cry about something than stuff everything down. It was years of unresolved emotions getting purged.
A lot of the time, we don’t want to confess our issues because we’re afraid the ones we love will leave. If they do leave, or they make you feel like a victim, kick their vindictive, shitty ass out of your life. (haha. shitty ass. that’s gross.)
The ones worth their salt will stick around. Not only that, but they will hold your hand and let you cry, and then game plan techniques with you so you don’t fall back down the rabbit hole. They will help you because they want to. And it won’t come from a place of victimization or judgment. They’ll do it because they want you to be your best.
I’ve been habit-free for a year, and I can say with confidence that I will never relapse again in ANY capacity.
Because sometimes, not always but sometimes….love is enough.
Love can be all it takes to bring you out of the darkness. It’ll make you want to love yourself more, and take care of yourself, because you’ll start to see yourself the way you are seen. I wanted to love myself more, and take care of myself, because I wanted to keep a certain element of my life. I knew if I let it, it would make me a better person. And it has.
Love makes you want to experience happiness and peace.
Relapsing has no place in my current peace. My life is crazy, so there’s not a lot of room for peace, but there is ZERO room for relapsing.
Love is a big thing. It takes up a lot of space.
And if you let it…love will save you.