For anyone who hasn’t yet picked this up, I am definitely a “get the job done” type of girl. My boss calls me a doer. Matt calls me impatient. But really, having a no nonsense attitude when it comes to getting sh!t done is not a bad thing. I get tasks and projects finished efficiently and correctly, and I feel a strong sense of accomplishment when I do (and if you’re reading this blog there’s a good chance you do too).
However, while this personality trait has helped me succeed in my education, in sport and in my career, it can cause me real anxiety when certain things – often out of my control – happen.
My eating disorder recovery is a prime example. When I finally made the decision to truly commit to recovery, I can I remember thinking that I would smash this and be back to “normal” in no time at all… Yeah, I know. As we all know, recovery doesn’t quite work like that. Just when you think the journey’s nearly over, you round a corner and BAM! something pops up to take you back a few steps.
This process has bugged me for a while, and it’s made me feel ashamed and guilty for taking this long to recover (hello, inner-perfectionist!). Lately I’ve been feeling really down that I’m not recovered yet and that I still struggle with so many things. I hate being a drag on my family and friends, and I so want them to be proud of me for recovering from this awful illness! But after talking this through with Matt and hearing a few great messages from my pastor, I’ve realised that I need to stop being so harsh on myself. I need to be patient and give myself all the time I need to get my head and my body right.
No, I’m not fully recovered yet. But you know what? That’s okay. I have lots of things to work on and to get better but I’m okay with that. It’s okay that I still hold fears, anxieties and issues around food, body and exercise because recognising and dealing with them is helping me to learn more about myself, my strength and the strength I have in Jesus. And in all of this, I’m learning to be okay with me.
So for all you out there feeling bad for recovering “slowly”, please don’t feel ashamed or guilty for giving yourself the time you need to get better. Everyone’s got their own stuff, things they’re working on in their life, it just so happens that right now, recovering from an eating disorder happens to be our stuff.
All we can do is be kind to ourselves and get on with it. Be okay with where you’re at, just don’t be content – EDs thrive on our complacency. Like Jeni Schaefer says, stay focused on doing “the next right thing” for your recovery, try to relax and remember it’s okay to not have it all together…no one’s perfect!