By Kassie C.
Eating disorders and disordered eating are hard things to explain to someone else – whether you’re aware it is impacting who you are, are in the thick of it or on your recovery road. For me, being in recovery, my thoughts still are so influenced by the way my brain and body used to normalize habits and behaviors; they show up in ways I didn’t even acknowledge as challenging or unhealthy. In recovery, the idea of “living your life” becomes the forefront, yet on bad days or bad weeks, I find myself mourning parts of what I thought control was in my “previous” life. However, I can now acknowledge this is a thought and in practice I know that control leads to a very slippery slope.
I am having a bad week, and I am wanting change, but unlike wanting change with an eating disorder, the change in recovery is better the freer it gets. We deserve to live our lives – love our lives. Control translates to prioritizing once normalized unhealthy food behaviors and to stop living; the desire to reinstate those unhealthy habits are the number one thought that comes into my head now when I’m struggling. But reminding myself that enjoying my people, my environment and myself will always lead to that freedom I am looking for rather then restricting now to be able to live later.
“Living later” when you have an eating disorder is setting yourself a finish line that is never attainable because it stems from an idea of perfectionism that is unachievable or is perpetuated by the shame of being unable to achieving this impossible standard; every time you’re close you think it’ll be better if “I push it a bit farther” because in this race our finish line will be always be after the next restriction, the next unhealthy habit we justify, so we end up running in circles that turn into spirals. This week I am consciously deciding to stay out of that race and am choosing to live in the present because if happiness is the goal, then living now is the path towards it.
My name is Kassie C. I am in my late twenties and am trying to live what I preach – picking yourself first and that loving yourself really is the best medicine. It’s not always easy and it definitely is not always pretty but it’s real. I hope joining me on this journey will provide perspective, connection and solace. So, here’s to life because for good or bad we are all in it together :).
*Photo credits: Kassie C.