Last year at this time I was getting ready to leave treatment. During this transitional period, my weeks confined in the security of the treatment walls became shorter and my weekends at home adjusting and facing the triggers in a new environment got longer. On the morning my parents dropped me off at treatment, I threw my most impressive temper tantrum ever. There was no way they were going to make me stay there. As my stay came to an end, on the other hand, my attitude changed completely. I was ready to move in and stay forever.
Treatment became my first recovery security blanket. It was comforting to be around people who understood me and would keep me on track in my recovery. No matter how long I put off going home, I knew I would never be 100% ready to leave. Moving back home meant I would be forced to remove that security blanket and leave a small part of my recovery behind; only to expose myself to the big, scary world that caused my eating disorder.
As many of you know, I spent most of my summer complaining I felt stuck in my current life circumstances. Now that I have been given a challenge and an opportunity to grow in my new school environment, however, I am craving the old security blanket that kept me stuck, and also safe.
Summer has officially come to an end. It's time for a new chapter to unfold. As this security blanket is removed, a small part of me will be left behind and a new, improved version of myself will be given the opportunity to flourish.
I think as I continue through the recovery process there will be several security blankets that need to be removed and left behind. Unfortunately, in order to move on from this particular security blanket, I will be forced to face many of my past triggers and learn to implement healthy coping mechanisms. I am also starting to understand why recovery feels impossible for so many of us; the first few days without my security blanket feel too overwhelming to deal with.
Rather than sitting through the anxiety involved with facing these new challenges, I would much rather revert back to old eating disordered behaviors and completely avoid any form of change. In the short term, clinging onto my previous security blanket feels like the right thing to do. In the long run, however, it will only hinder and stall my recovery.
Without this security blanket, as I have already learned, I will slip and fall - but maybe that's okay. Maybe the process of leaving a security blanket behind isn't supposed to be smooth or perfect. Maybe the only way to move forward is to be tested.
With a new week upon us, I feel ready to leave this security blanket behind and hopefully uncover a new set of strengths within myself.