Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Trusting the Process


When I first entered treatment I spent a good 8-10 weeks stuck in the "these people can't make me gain THAT much weight" mindset. During those first few weeks, I tried to cheat the weight gain process any way I could. Treatment centers often deal with patients hiding food, purging in secrecy, abusing laxatives, or over exercising regardless of the rules set by the treatment team.

As much as I hate to admit it, I embarrassingly attempted (and failed) one or more of the symptoms listed above multiple times. It was infuriating because I knew if I ever wanted to recover, it was absolutely necessary to STOP those behaviors and give up all means of control. The eating disorder voices in my head were telling me to continue having symptoms and keep my weight under control, and although my healthy brain was always fighting, it never seemed to beat out those ED voices.  

One of my recovery buddies is currently on the verge of trusting the process, but every time she tries to act in healthy manner those eating disorder voices take over. Yesterday she said this to me in regards to her current struggle to quit over exercising,  

"It was hard, because initially it was really nice to be outside and getting fresh air and walking (all of which I love) but then when she (her dog) started to turn back, my ED started to stress... "we'd only JUST got out here, we'd barely walked at all... it wasn't even HALF of what I'd normally do in the morning walk to school and it was a snail pace instead of a power-march."

Although she really, really wants to cut back on the exercise, every time she attempts to do so, those eating disorder voices tell her she's a lazy failure. Her best intentions to begin trusting the recovery process are not given the credit they deserve. More often than not, a few failed attempts are mandatory before a healthy behavior begins to emerge.

In order to fully trust, one must walk blindly into a situation. Trust is not something that can be developed overnight. Years of self-destructive thoughts have a sneaky way of over staying their welcome. Slowly as I began to let go of my eating disordered behaviors, one by one, I began to build that trust a little higher.

Another huge component of trusting the process was learning to let go of my eating disorder identity. And I mean really let go. I had to stomp on it, run it over with my car, throw it in the trash, and smash it with a hammer every opportunity I had. A past therapist of mine always told me to get angry at my ED and talk back to it. Having a few "I'm not listening to you today, eating disorder" phrases prepared ahead of time helped me fight off those voices. In fact, I still have to use some of those phrases on a daily basis.

Recovery is a long, exhausting process. Mistakes are inevitable. Sometimes I really have had to take two (or three or four) steps backwards in order to take one measly step forward. There are many days when I am pissed off at the recovery process and would much rather stay in bed for the rest of my life. Perfection does not and never will exist. Trust is huge leap of faith.

No wonder trusting the process takes so much time. Once I was able to achieve that trust, however, I finally realized there was no turning back.

Progress.

7 comments:

  1. It was kind of crazy to think back on the ways that all of us would try and trick the system. Or our EDs would try and trick the system. Our place was a lot more open so it was actually harder to trick the system BUT there were little ways that were actually more detrimental. Most of it revolved around food choices mainly because it was an open door place so no where was gone alone around the house we lived in. I am happy though that I had that moment three weeks in where I finally just let go and realized help was all I could have.

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    1. Yes, you're very lucky to have had that moment just three weeks in. For some people it never really happens.

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  2. I love this post. Trusting the process has been one of my mantras for these couple of months. I always feel amazed about people who have gone through a weight gain process in a treatment center. That is really a huge let go, and I can only imagine how wonderful they feel because it is a huge success. Like, "WE DID IT!" There are so many things that we need to let go in life, but for anorexia, that is a huge one. I don't know if I can ever get there, but keep trying. As far as I go, that's my journey. And, I can't hate myself for this. Love...

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    1. A part of me was like "I DID IT!" but a part of me also felt miserable after the weight gain. I did get used to that too though. It just takes time... I'm still putting trust in the process.

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  3. Cos in actually fact, we are only tricking ourselves.....
    <3

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    1. Absolutely... thanks for inspiring this post <3

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