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.