The worst thing I learned while in treatment for my eating disorder was that it never truly goes away. It may get better, but there will always be that little nagging voice inside screaming at me whenever I eat. I remember feeling hopeless as recovered speakers who came in to share their journey admit to us that they still hear those voices from time to time. They may be quieter and less severe, but they are still there. Recovery felt pointless. If I’m never going to fully recover, then what’s the point of trying? I felt angry at the world for giving me an incurable illness that I spent years trying to fix.
Now that I’m in a more recovered mindset, I’ve realized that eating disorders aren’t necessarily things you can ‘fix’. In the eating disorder world, nothing is straightforward and simple, especially recovery. But just because the voices don’t go away completely doesn’t mean that recovery isn’t worth it. There are days that pass and I eat without guilt. One time, I ate a muffin—my previous fear food that I would have panic attacks over—without even thinking about it. I ate at restaurants with my family and friends, I had colour in my cheeks, I spent an entire Christmas without crying, my friends commented on how much happier I am. These little moments are worth recovery, because none of them would have happened if I gave up. My cousin broke her leg three years ago. Despite getting surgery and screws in her ankle, she still feels pain in it sometimes. Just because she experiences pain sometimes doesn’t mean she wouldn’t get the surgery. Because occasional pain is better than absolute agony. You are in recovery for a reason.
Trust me when I say that it gets better and it is worth it.