Do you remember 9/11?
Many of you reading this may be too young to remember. Which, side note: is freaking insane and makes me feel ancient (which I’m not). 🙂
But 9/11 happened when I was a kid. So I do remember.
I don’t need to go into a history lesson about that fateful day. But after 9/11 happened, our country adopted the slogan, “We will never forget.”
For months after that day, there was not an American flag left on any store shelf across the nation. People were literally buying them like they were going out of style. People hung the flag from their houses, mailboxes, put them on their cars, in their yards. American flags literally were all over the place. Why? Because our country was never going to forget the attack it endured, and we were going to celebrate the fact that we rose up from that attack and triumphed. It became a sign of our resilience. And it was a reminder of what we were fighting for: freedom.
Sometimes in our recovery, we need to hang a metaphorical flag in our own window. We need to remember why we’re fighting ED. Why we’ve chosen recovery.
So you’ve just had a slip up. Maybe you gave into an “ED thought” or believed an “ED lie.” Whatever it is, you find yourself spiraling down the rabbit hole, back to ED’s dungeon. You feel the fight is too great, and you’re ready to throw in the towel. You’re tired of resisting ED. You’re tired of facing fear foods, and seeing your therapist, and following your meal plan, and tracking your intake, and blah blah blah blah blah.
You’ve had enough.
Right now is when you need a flag in your life. You need to remember why you’re fighting.
Why? Why are you recovering?
I mean, seriously? I have to ask myself this question all the time.
Because I’ll tell you what, ED is comfortable. Recovery is hard.
So why do it?
There are a lot of hashtags floating around out there. Many have to do with recovering for the boobs or recovering for the booty. Which is great. Maybe you’re recovering to get healthy. To get a better body. For a boyfriend. For your parents or loved ones. To go to college. To avoid being admitted to a hospital. To be able to play sports again.
Okay. Those things are fine. Whatever is getting you through this fight, more power to ya.
But I invite you to think about this:
Recover for YOU.
Recover because you love yourself.
Recover because you’re worth it.
The reason I relapsed after inpatient was because I wasn’t recovering for myself. I was doing it because I was forced. My true recovery happened when I began to truly love myself, and when I allowed myself to receive God’s love.
Why do I recover?
Yeah, okay maybe getting boobs would be nice. And sure, a boyfriend wouldn’t be so bad either. But I’m recovering because I love myself too much to let my life be destroyed.
I’m recovering because I have something to offer this world, and I’ll be damned if I let ED say or do otherwise.
I’m recovering because I deserve more than this.
It’s during the dark times, when ED is throwing his flaming arrows at me in full attack, that I have to take an inventory of all the reasons why I’m fighting him in the first place.
And here’s what I remember: Anorexia ruins lives. Literally. If it doesn’t kill you, which — reality check: is a very real possibility — it will, without fail, ruin your life. Steal your future. Destroy your body and mind. Anorexia — ED — is a dirty bastard that deserves to burn in hell where he belongs. ((Dramatic much? Nope — only accurate.)) But I think about that. And then I remember, I am recovering because I am worth more than that.
Yes, it is hard for me to believe sometimes. Sometimes I just have to say, Screw it, I’m just going to respect myself enough to recover. But the bottom line is this: I refuse to allow my life to be destroyed by ED. I want to set myself up to fly. I want to give myself a chance in this world. Recovery is that chance. And the alternative is literally destined for disaster — in every aspect.
So I’ve found it helpful to keep a “flag” of sorts in my apartment, to remind me, daily, why I’m fighting — Something to look at when times get difficult. One weekend when my father was visiting me at inpatient, we went to this little shop and he got a small quartz figurine of an eagle taking flight. And when he gave it to me, he said, “I believe you will fly.”
That’s my flag. Only now, I believe it, too.
I invite you to take an inventory of why you’re recovering. And I invite you to just think about the possibility of recovering for you.
Maybe that seems impossible: ‘I’m not really worth recovery. I don’t deserve a life of freedom. I deserve to be enslaved to ED. This is it for me.’ Believe me, I’ve been there.
But when you decide that you’re ditching ED because you deserve it, I kid you not, things change. A new motivation comes over you, because now, you are the beneficiary of your recovery efforts. Not your parents. Not your doctor. You.
Recovering for boobs is fine. “DoItForTheBooty” — sure, go for it. But what about you?
I’m recovering because I will not succumb to this disease. With Jesus’ help, I will rise up from this hell and be triumphant.
I’m recovering for me. For my life. Because I am worth more than this.
What about you?