A funny thing happened on the way to recovery…
Isn’t it funny how sometimes things just kind of sneak up on you without even noticing? It seems like I’ve had my head down for quite a long time now. It started out with my focusing SO HARD on trying to recover from being treated for an eating disorder, among other issues. It felt like quite a bit of work just trying to be comfortable in my own skin. This shouldn’t be work – it should just be the way it is, naturally. But I know for me and I imagine, many others, it’s not the case.
But as I had a major life change recently (going back to work), I couldn’t help but reevaluate things. Typically, a life change is what sets bad things in motion for me. For some reason, I don’t handle change very well. Moving here for instance, which I thought should be incredibly exciting, just left me in a constant battle with myself and set things in motion for a needing treatment. I expected bad things with this recent change. I waited with bated breath, constantly looking over my shoulder for the anxiety to set in, for the depression to take over like it inevitably does.
It didn’t. Well, ok, it did a bit. But in a very healthy and manageable dose. And as I took stock of this weird feeling of working through the normal amount of anxiety and handling things so well, I noticed something else. My body image issues had almost completely disappeared. Yes, they are still there. I know they always will be, but there’s a vast difference between feeling minor complaints compared to having the negativity consume me almost completely.
I don’t think I noticed as it must have happened gradually over time. My clothes feel more comfortable and I am not sure if it’s from weight loss or just the physical feeling of being more comfortable with myself. And I don’t really care. I can wear shorts and tank tops with without constantly looking for imperfections. I have jiggly legs and a wee bit of cellulite. Meh.
Recently I even went to the doctor’s for a physical and they wanted to weigh me. Something I haven’t done in over 4 years for fear of becoming attached to a number again. I took a deep breath and said ok. And that number wasn’t scary at all. I don’t even really remember what it was and I no longer feel the need to focus on it.
I don’t avoid the mirror anymore and I’m not terrified to wear a bathing suit this summer. I don’t stress over what I eat and how much of it I eat. I don’t have a panic attack if I miss a day of exercise (or two or three…).
I’m not sure when this happened, but I feel relieved it did. I know of course this doesn’t mean I am “cured” of everything. Dealing with eating disorders, anxiety, depression and PTSD is something that is part of me. And I accept it. I hope from now on I can work with it instead of fighting so hard.
ps. I’m SO BEHIND on blogging. Hoping to get caught up soon!!