The Right Choice for the Wrong Reasons

Recovery sucks sometimes.

The amount of work it takes to properly nourish myself is exhausting and I wonder some days if I made the right choice. Is recovery the right choice for me?

You see, I grew up with my eating disorder. Ana* and I have been thick as thieves for as long as I know. I remember walking into a birthday party at age seven thinking “no one will like me because I’m not good enough”. I remember thinking that I’d be better if I was prettier, skinnier, didn’t wear glasses… distortions so deep and disturbing that lead me to make the decision to get Lasik Eye Surgery. I don’t know if I’ve ever even said that out loud to anyone before…. and I made the decision to get corrective eye surgery because I thought it would somehow make me better. I don’t regret the surgery. Regaining my eyesight after so many years was such a precious gift and I am eternally thankful that I was in a position to receive the surgery. I made the right decision. I just wish I had made it for the right reasons. Similarly to when I registered for Marca College originally, I made the right decision for the wrong reason and it ultimately led me towards a relapse.

Making the right choice for the wrong reasons seems to be a theme in my life throughout relationships, recovery, and education: I have ended friendships for the wrong reasons and yet, it turns out to be the best decision for me as it leads me to learn more about myself and toxic relationships; I have entered programs with the goal of recovery without the intention of recovering for myself; and I threw myself into a program I was so passionate about  when I was in no condition to be able to complete it. For a while, I believed I was just doomed to make mistakes and I hated myself. Ana told me that if I make a mistake, I am a mistake (I believe this so deeply I wrote it as evidence during a therapy session [opinions are not facts , friends]). I avoided situations where I thought I may make a mistake or may fail in fear of the consequences. Now all I can think about is what have I missed out on because of this phobia? I’ve lived under the cloud of my eating disorder for so long that Ana is the only one I really know and it’s hard to just leave. How do you leave all you’ve ever known when you’re terrified of the unknown?

I have a lot of unlearning to do. As I’ve said before, my eating disorder has always been a part of my life so it’s hard to create and maintain the separation needed for my recovery. I’ve had to leave so much of who I was behind in order for this “new Jennifer” to be able to do something. My life looks very different now versus five years ago, and I’m okay with that. The choices that I’ve had to make were hard of course and, while I thought each choice was a mistake, these choices have made me the person that I am so proud to be. 

From all of this, I’ve learned that it’s okay to be wrong because that means I actually learned something. I would rather be wrong a million times and have exponential growth over someone who is always right and be stuck in the same frame of mind. It’s okay to make a mistake as long as you’re willing to open up your mind to the experience of learning about it. I guess what I’m trying to say is that even if I’m making the choice to recover for the wrong reasons, maybe that’s okay. Maybe I need to figure out what all the wrong reasons to recover are really like. It’s trial and error, really. I can’t know the right reasons without knowing the wrong reasons to recover. I need to decide for myself what choice I’m going to make and honour my decision, even if it’s a mistake, because I have worked my ass off to earn the opportunity to make the right choice for the wrong reasons and learn from it.

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