This blog post is dedicated to KG. The girl I spend 24/7 with, can talk about anything, will listen to my problems, and has phenomenal turns. Love you to the moon and back and thank you for taking my thoughts away just by being in my presence. XOXO
Will the thoughts ever go away?
While I was going through treatment and as I continue in recovery, a thought that runs through my head quite often is, “Will these FRITOCKING thoughts ever go away.” The past week or so has been difficult, to be completely honest. I am no longer working so my days are not fully occupied and I have a lot of down time. Now, that may seem like a dream to some people but I dread downtime, I mean absolutely dread it. It means more free time for my eating disorder to penetrate my mind and more time for me to sit, consumed by thoughts of food and hunger cues, and it means more time of just Ed and me (a relationship that I really do not want anymore). I think the thoughts are some of the most difficult parts of having an eating disorder. I heard time and time again during treatment that thoughts are the first to come and the last to leave. Well that SUCKS! Even though I am behavior free and have been for a while now, I do not feel mentally free. So I turn to this question, “Will these thoughts ever go away?”
Let me backtrack a bit, I have been asked a big question by friends and family quite frequently, “What types of thoughts do you have? I mean what even are these thoughts.” Honestly, such a great question. For me, they crept up nice and quietly on my little 13 or 14 year old brain. They were “positive” thoughts that were helping me “care for my body” and teach me how to “love myself” (FALSE!) They were hints of information about certain foods I could eat or ab exercises I could add to my routine. The thoughts that possess me now are similar. I will be sitting on a couch trying to enjoy the latest episode of The Bachelorette, when I find myself calculating how much I have eaten throughout the day. I constantly check my watch to see what time I am allowed to eat (there will be another blog post on this later). I will grab at my stomach rolls to help me determine how hungry I am rather than letting my actual stomach dictate how it is feeling. It is so easy for me to slip into these thoughts and not very easy for me to fight them off. At first, the numbers of calories and the plans of exercise racing through my brain is a comforting feeling, my eating disorder disguises it that way. But the more I think about it and the higher that the calories climb, the more I recognize this is not what I want my life to be anymore. I do not want my days to be focused on how my stomach looks when I sit down. I do not want to spend hours in the morning ripping my closet apart trying to find an outfit that I can feel comfortable in.
I know I have had moments, even days of absolute freedom, when I am not consumed, tormented, and dragged down by the sinister voice of my eating disorder. I hold onto those moments and hope to find something that will eventually allow me to not just have moments but rather forever freedom. I find myself at a peace in the presence of others. I firmly believe that an important part of recovery is to surround yourself with people you are comfortable with and with whom you can be yourself. When I’m with people like my best friends Haley or KG, or Kelly S, or Nico (and so many more, I am truly blessed) I am at such a peace it is as if my eating disorder does not even exist. Those are the moments my thoughts have vanished; they cannot exist around these people. We honestly could be sitting on a couch, hanging out in a Starbucks, or driving through downtown LA and I am so free and at ease. I grasp onto those moments and they are what allow me to continue on in my recovery. They are the moments when I know that it is truly possible to not be consumed by pain, suffering, and ED thoughts. Each moment not spent in my eating disorder is a beautiful moment and thanks to all of these amazing people in my life I am able to continue on. So I guess to sort of answer my own question (and also to just keep a positive mindset), I do firmly believe that these thoughts will go away. I do firmly believe that one day I will be able to make a difference in other people’s lives and help other people struggling while I myself am no longer struggling. I am confident in myself and all my friends that I have found in treatment that we will be free to enjoy shopping and clothes. Free to enjoy our food. Free to enjoy our guilty pleasures (The Bachelorette). And most importantly, free to enjoy our lives.