I have had an eating disorder since my early teens. After years I went to get help and came across Michelle. When I started to work with her, I was very low, I did not want to have to get up in the morning and look at myself or try to control my eating. I did not want to go out because people would find me repulsive and embarrassing to look at. I was angry all the time and had shut myself off from everyone
When I started my recovery, these thoughts subsided, and my eating disorder improved, and I thought I was cured in about a month and a half. Then I had my first lapse, I felt the rug had been pulled out from under me and I was back to square one, from then every time I was doing well a small voice in my head said “ this wont last, it never lasts, watch you will never recover”. This mistrust in myself would lead to a string of lapses over the course of the next few months. Of course, lapses are a normal part of recovery they teach very important information we can learn from. However, I had no interest in learning. I felt they were not my doing, other things kept happening to me, I was out of control. I had no choice. When asked why I lapsed all I used to say was “I don’t know “ over and over.
Self -sabotage are two words that changed the way I look at recovery. Because in those two words I found complete clarity. It was always me… I was the person making every bad situation in my life worse. After I knew that everything changed.
Before I felt I was stuck in this dark smoke-filled room, where I could not see, and I was been thrown and slapped around, everything was disorientating and out of control. Then the smoke cleared, and I saw myself. No longer was my eating disorder a big frightening thing that I did not understand and could not control. It was just me. From then I slowly started to take my power back. Now I knew every choice I made I would be accountable for. The next time I felt a lapse happening I sat down in a chair and had an open dialog with myself as crazy as it sounds. I said “ if you want to do this you can, but you and only you will have to face the repercussions of it tomorrow when you wake you and feel like absolute shit”. Once I knew I could not blame anyone else from my lapse it was a lot harder to do.
Because I felt I would now openly communicate with my “eating disorder voice” my acceptations I had placed on myself started to fall away, I stopped waking up and looking in the mirror in the morning expecting to have lost 3 stone overnight night. I know exactly how my body is. I work everyday towards body acceptance some days are better than others but right now I focus on body neutrality. I feel since realizing self-sabotage has a major part to play in my eating disorder I became very aware of it in all aspects of my life, but now that I had an awareness I would work towards reducing and stopping it.
Everyday recovery still takes work and time and energy and can be challenging but my eating disorder would take up that much energy and still I would be miserable. I feel I have taken my power back and I am excited to work towards a healthy life without an eating disorder. If it was me who put myself in that situation it is me who can take myself out of it. It starts with just showing up for yourself and sticking with it even when you feel it is hard. Michelle is a brilliant therapist who support me in this journey and supported me while I work towards recovery.