• eliabethharwood

Eating Disorder Recovery 2.0

After my tangent I decided to curate the more intellectualised reflection (perhaps a need for perfectionism and to minimise emotions!) on my 2 year anniversary of entering treatment.

For so long I searched for a tangible end point, for an ending or renewal into something else. And, although leaving treatment does formally require an ending, it cannot really have one... Because your life goes on, leaving treatment represents a sort of re-embarkation, it represents the distance already travelled and the distance yet to go - which is life.

The reality of life is that every day you wake up and walk into the bathroom, with your whole past there. Everybody does.

You wake up and you may see things differently- you may have metabolised the hurt, pain, differently- but there will always be an scar on you.

Throughout my treatment, and even still, I struggled with having limited (no) role models for eating disorder recovery. And when you are removed from society, any sense of hope gives a glimmer of light whilst you're in the trenches.

During treatment I felt abandoned, rejected, cancelled, and that society didn't want me integrated until I was fully better. I felt alone, unsupported, lost. The pain of entering treatment, and of uncoupling from the life I had (and thought was my own shattered me into tiny little pieces. Then 4 months later COVID hit...

My formal end date from Vincent Square was earlier this year, and since then many things have changed and I am both excited and terrified about even more potential for growth.

I recognise that I can still get caught up in building an externally full and committed life, always on the go, escaping what I may be fearful of feeling. I use it as a means to lessen my discomfort from challenging emotions. I correlate shrinking my body, needs and emotions as a way to feel more desired. As a women I have been taught that I must remain small. I (rationally) recognise that this is an exhausting and unfulfilling process.

Moving past this deep conditioning is something which not only those with eating disorders face, it's ingrained in our culture. So I can see now that in a polarised world it is natural to struggle with such conflicting opinions and to lack a centre of your own.

However, the past two years I have seen that having a capacity to experience hard and painful emotions, to build on these experiences from my own inner resource, establishes more richness and depth, more purpose, and authenticity.

Finding and being curious to our place in the world is the journey of soul making.

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