It’s been a long time since I’ve posted a “Journal entry!” This is coming directly from my heart, without much filtering, so I’ve decided it fits better into that category.
As I mentioned recently, my therapist has told me that I need to reread Decoding Anorexia. She said in our appointment a couple days ago that she thinks I’ve become “lax” about my recovery, and have begun to view my own hesitancy towards gaining those few pounds back as the resistance that most women would to that suggestion. I’m not sure how she does it, but she somehow knows how to explain my thinking before I even understand it…(granted, minutes before, I’d just said, “I just think we’re making too big a deal out of this; if any normal person just lost a few pounds they’d be PRAISED, but I’m being hounded and punished until it comes back on…”). Subsequently, came the assignment to reread the book. And yes, okay, it was a good idea, Rachel! I sat down with it this afternoon on the couch and opened up to Chapter 10, the second to last chapter. It’s titled, Oops, I did it Again…, and I remembered that it was the one that talked about relapse.
By the time I finished the first page, I’d remembered how powerful this book was for me. I was reminded that Anorexia is an illness — not a mind game, or a diet gone wrong, or an obsession with weight, but an illness. If I don’t stay on track with my recovery, meaning that I am intentionally meeting my exchanges each day, as well as not exercising more than five days a week (for only 30 minutes at a time, and abstaining from cardio, for now), I WILL RELAPSE. Hard. As Rachel told me the other day, if I need to tell myself that I have Diabetes, or another medical illness that explains having to be rigid about food intake and exercise expenditure in order to strictly enforce my recovery behaviors, then that’s just what I need to do. Because skipping meals is not an option for me. Skipping snacks is not an option for me. Overdoing exercise, even one day, is not in the cards for me right now. One year into recovery, studies show that the brain has begun to form new patterns and habits, and that more flexibility can begin to be integrated (in terms of not always having three meals and two snacks a day, or going over the typical exercise allowance for a particular event), but it has to remain intentional.
The new wallpaper for my phone, which I found on Pinterest (what can’t you find on there?!) says, “You’re either working on recovery or you’re working on a relapse”, and that’s my mantra for this next month. Really, it’ll probably be one of mine for the remainder of my life, but this next month especially. I know that this month, I need to get back to the top of that hill. Like I’ve quoted from Decoding Anorexia before, being just 2.2 pounds away from “the weight”, is proven to significantly affect the likelihood of relapsing. It’s the equivalent to being 20 feet away from the top of a big hill — so close, but far enough that as soon as you stop pedaling, you’re going to slide right back down to where you started. So, for right now, that’s my goal. Get to the weight. Whatever it takes. I’m gonna get to the top of that hill!
I’ve got a lot more to write about later, but for now I’m going to get back to studying for my anatomy midterm tomorrow.