The hardest part of recovery for me wasn’t the start. Once the pain and destruction of it all become so apparent I knew I had to do something. But gaining weight didn’t feel as scary when I knew I was small.
What has been the hardest is the last part. Right where you can see the finish line. When you’re far enough away from the pain that you’ve forgotten how bad it was to be hungry and tired and falling apart, but you remember the comforting parts, the good parts - kind of like a bad relationship you struggle to let go of.
The hardest part has been choosing to let go of a life (and an identity) where the future feels obvious but small, as Nicola Hobbs calls it, 'a cosy little hell', in place for one that is full, whole, free but ultimately completely unknown. And trusting that that vulnerability is where true happiness lies.
But how did you do this? Were you not afraid of getting bigger?
Yes I struggled with the fear of gaining too much muscle / bulking up when started weight training instead of just running and restricting. I went though a really shitty time in the middle - I cried every day. But I think it’s just another form of fearing getting bigger and still coveting the small (for whatever reason that may be/ whatever that might mean to you).
1. Can you know what you see in the mirror is probably still skewed? And so can you sit with the discomfort of being bigger and trust that the negative feelings will pass (even if it takes longer than you hope). Can you sit with this, trust that it is not wrong, only different - to not act on the voice in your head and fall back into the cycle of this mess?
2. Can you change your perception of what is beautiful?
3. Can you see the joy that moving your body based on more than looks brings you? And so trust that a life you love will shape your body in a new way. And in loving your life over your body too?
4. Know this pain is temporary; it won’t last forever. But no matter how hard it feels you can’t give up. You have to go through.