There are a lot of different opinions about eating disorder recovery and if full recovery is actually possible.
Some people think that yes, an eating disorder surviver will be able to live a completely ED free life. I hate to be a cynic, but I have to disagree with those people.
Some people view this mindset I have as not being ready to let go of the disorder. I won’t deny it, thats definitely a true statement to be made. Letting go of an eating disorder is scary.
When people ask me how I am doing now with my eating disorder, I am not sure how to respond. You see, I am no longer in relapse, but if I told everyone I was fully recovered, that would be a lie.
To be fully recovered from an eating disorder, in my opinion, is to no longer have ANY issues with food. To be fully recovered from an eating disorder is to be able to eat something without guilt or without the thoughts of how to compensate. To be fully recovered is to not compare my body or what I eat to others. To be fully recovered is to be able to look at food or go grocery shopping without feeling like the world is caving in as the anxiety begins to take over.
I have many days without experiencing any of these thoughts, but my eyes are still broken. I still sometimes see a different reflection looking back at me completely skewed from the beast in my head.
I eat my meals and no longer engage in behaviors because I am focused now on the wonderful life I have created. It is a life without Ana, but Ana still finds her way in. Ana still whispers to me at night with the review of everything I ate that day.
The difference between relapse and recovery is choosing to NOT listen to the disorder. The voice won’t go away, its just a matter of making the choice to not engage in what she says. I have the strength to not listen to Ana. I have the courage to fight her back and question her motives. I like to think that my anorexia is in remission. The symptoms are not nearly as severe and its possible that I may never relapse again.