I am very lucky to have the constant support that I have around me whilst I have had the Eating Disorder. I have never lived alone or without people who were able to check in with me daily to make sure I was doing the right things. This has enabled me to be accountable, as I know I have someone at the end of every day who I’m going home to – someone I have to face up to and be honest about what I have or haven’t done.
Without these people I seriously doubt whether I would have been able to stay on track and keep on recovering without a serious relapse.
I never realised how lucky I am until I spoke to a friend who is also recovering but who does not have the support system I do. Don’t get me wrong, she is absolutely amazing and astounds me each and every day with the way she soldiers on with life when it can seem so hard and crap, but she also finds it so easy to fall back into old ED habits because of the fact that she is on her own.
When we were speaking all I wanted to do was invite her to come live with us, so Matt and I could help her in recovery. (But as great a support as Matt is, living with two ED recoverers might be pushing it!) I really didn’t and still don’t know how to help my friend out because I think – in fact I know – if I was living on my own I would have slipped back into old habits. I’ve tried to slip back into old habits. I’ve tried to do a sneaky restriction at dinner time, or add in an extra walk here or there, but almost always I get called out on it and that makes me feel like shit so I don’t do it again.
But what I’ve been learning lately is that I need to be accountable to myself. I think it’s been on my mind not only because of my friend, but because Matt has just started a new job, which will likely mean him spending a little more time at work and less at home, which may mean more dinners and afternoons alone. The ED has jumped on this idea, burdening my brain with all these “fantastic” ways we could start to cut back on dinners (now Matt won’t be sitting across the dinner table). But I’m getting better at quickly snapping at myself for these silly thoughts.
Matt is not the only person I’m recovering for. I am doing this for me. I deserve a better life then one filled with rules, restrictions and constant arguments with myself. I want to be accountable not only to Matt and my family, but to myself. Because I’m the one who gets the most disappointed when I let an ED habit sneak its way back into my life. Because every little mistake takes me a step further away from reaching my goals and living the life that I want to live. It puts me further away from the wife, daughter, sister, friend, future mother and woman of God that I know I can and should be.
So for the next few months I’m setting a new goal to hold myself accountable. I’m not only going to keep kicking the ED’s butt, continuing to face new challenges every week, but I’m going to do it for Matt, my family and, most importantly, for me!
In writing this post I realised how lucky and blessed I am to have the support crew that I do. So I really want to thank my parents and Matt for dealing with all my craziness and holding me accountable for all these years. I want to especially thank Matt for dealing with me on a daily basis, dealing with my angry outbursts of swearing and throwing whatever I can get my hands on, my tears (which of late have been constant), my mood swings, the social isolation I have caused and the mean words that I never mean but too often say. Thank you for staying with me and loving me unconditionally when I think most men would have bailed long ago. You truly are the best human.