It’s not been terrible - not as bad as the darkness I felt before this 'all in’ thing. It’s more been a manageable level, a dull pain, like the way old broken bones ache in the cold.
I find myself questioning where and how this cycle starts. Does it start with food? Or is controlling food how I cope with things that feel hard? I’m not saying I have relapsed or given up on ‘all in’ - but little ‘cheats’ have started creeping in; which I know can quickly turn into bigger restrictions. I have always felt like this; I get so close and then turn back. I touch a recovered life with my fingertips, but then recoil in fear to my ED, my safe haven, as author Nicola Hobbs writes, 'a cosy little hell’.
It’s not that I am actively restricting; more that seeing the lower number on my tracking app lights up my brain, and pulls me in. It is just one time, it help things feel more settled… I am slipping in the comfort of it all. Maybe this time the difference will be that I am ready for the overwhelming desire to go back. Except, once I acknowledge it, how do I stop myself from slipping?
In the Yoga Sutras, a hugely regarded yogic text, Pantanjali writes, ‘If you do not pour water on a plant, what will happen? You need not fight to stop a habit. Just don’t give it an opportunity to repeat itself’.
I once wrote a blog post called ‘recovery is not a fight', because fighting requires an a level of energy that is not sustainable. Maybe this is where I have been going wrong in my approach. Too much fight, and not enough focus on slowly, steadily building new habits; replacing restriction with three solid meals, replacing over-exercising with enough rest, replacing the hateful self talk on repeat in my brain with compassion and kindness.
Not fighting. Instead it is surrendering. To our bodies, to happiness, to life. This is letting go. Falling in. Trusting. Which kind of sounds romantic written down. But wow, in real life, it is so bloody scary.