Recovery doesn’t just happen. It’s also not some cliché buzzword tossed around to “inspire” you. Recovery is real. It’s not a luck-of-the-draw deal where you put your name in a hat and hope to be chosen. It’s a grueling, relentless, personal process that will push you beyond your limits over and over and over. Will you choose it?
At every stage of my struggle, my eating disorder was a result of a seed that got planted in my mind. Unfortunately, this seed was actually a weed that soon grew wildly out of control.
Despite misconceptions about eating disorders, this wasn’t my choice. I was young and hurting. And I was trying to find ways to cope.
During my battle with anorexia, I fed the weed that was my eating disorder with vicious self-talk and behaviors, while my life starved. I couldn’t see that I was suffocating. It was easier to distract myself by watering the weed than actually facing the root of the pain it hid.
During my battle with binge eating disorder, I nourished my weed with the same vicious self-talk that earlier led to different behaviors – leaving me hungry still. I couldn’t see that I was suffocating—that the weed was growing larger.
During my battle with bulimia, I continued feeding the weed with the same vicious self-talk that once again left me empty inside. I couldn’t see that I was, in essence, nearing a state of zero oxygen. And frankly, I didn’t want to see it.
I didn’t want recovery. I didn’t believe in it. I told myself it was a trick. I became a better gardener to the eating disorder. I believed I deserved this self-destructive punishment. It kept me “safe” from having to face myself—what I feared most.
Eventually, I got tired of running from myself – from my pain. I paused and gasped for air. And in that moment of pause, I realized I had been running on a hamster wheel going nowhere. Reality hit me like a bolt of lightning.
NO ONE CAN SAVE YOU BUT YOU
No place, no thing, no one, no ifs ands or buts – no bargains!
But you can make a different choice now. Push any and all regrets aside. Don’t tell me you want to. SHOW ME.
I’ve been down dark roads for much of my life. I know where running from fear, pain and self-hate leads. It leads to a life sentence in prison. I also know where working through the fear, discomfort, and self-hate leads. It leads to freedom. But only YOU hold the key. You’ve had it all along.
Quit comparing yourself to others.
Quit looking around for answers! Have your tried looking within?
You fear yourself. Face yourself.
Don’t let fear interfere. We are all afraid. You aren’t alone. It’s how you use your fear that counts. Don’t let it exhaust you – let it excite you. Change the narrative. You get one life.
Recovery does NOT mean going back to a painful life. Recovery means deliberately working through your pain and creating a brand-new life that feels good. Recovery does NOT mean you are immune to struggle or hardships. Accept that as fact now! Take the pressure off. You aren’t perfect and never will be. Life has ups and downs. Recovery gives you the opportunity to experience life to its fullest as a participant, instead of watching it pass you by numb as a bystander.
I’m not here to preach to you, but rather offer some insight I wished I heard years ago from someone who had actually gone through the weeds experiencing the trials and tribulations of recovery.
Don’t tell yourself you can’t.
Don’t tell yourself it’s too hard.
Don’t tell yourself it’s not worth it.
Don’t tell yourself it’s too late.
And don’t you dare ever tell yourself, ”I give up.”
Get out your shovel and dig. Rip out the root of that weed wrongfully planted and plant something new. Then have patience as you watch your new seed grow and bloom –watch yourself bloom.
Recovery doesn’t JUST happen.
But recovery DOES happen.
Brittany Burgunder is a Certified Professional Coach (C.P.C.) specializing in eating disorders. She is also the author of, “Safety in Numbers: From 56 to 221 Pounds, My Battle with Eating Disorders –A Memoir” and is currently writing the sequel. Brittany is a passionate mental health advocate who looks to raise awareness, support those struggling and provide hope. You can connect with Brittany on her website and social media accounts: http://brittanyburgunder.com.