I need to check in over here. I wondered whether this belonged on Finding Melissa or my new blog. If I was splintering off from myself again by reverting back. I don’t think I am. This post is very much part of my eating disorder journey, though the learning of course extends through my life.

I have been struggling to get back to where I need to be with food. The struggle has taken the form of bulimia (and naming it still remains hard). It had been scarily easy to revert to old forms of behaviour (2 years of recovery have very little on 17 years of illness) and scarily easy for the damage to re-emerge. A bloody mouth and shaking hands are worrying but not quite enough.

For the first few months, I tried to return to the strategies that helped me recover the first time round. Planning, preparation, distraction, pick a date, share your intention, put things in place. The strategies didn’t seem to work this time; and, more worryingly, I seemed to kick back against my attempts to enforce a structure. It has taken me a while to realise what this backlash was about.

The first phase of my recovery bound me in structure and routine; and, whilst this swaddling kept me alive, it did not let me fully live.

So this is the tension and the question. How to find recovery in the real world. How to regain control of the food without relinquishing the delight I have experienced in going with the flow. In loosening the rules and routines. In moving away from breakfast at 6:45, lunch at 1:15; bed at 10:37; and next days’ clothes laid out before dinner. Don’t rock the boat with anything too emotional; pick to pieces every decision; kid glove treatment; no rather than yes – and sometimes the other way around.

My life is heading in the right direction; it is only the eating disorder that is trying to yank it back.

And so I think that this is the next phase of recovery, although it is painful and not wholly certain, yet, which way I will tip. It has been suggested that I’m nearly ready to let go and jump in the world – and that it is the snagging of the last remaining traces of eating disorder that are holding me back. I think that this is accurate, given that the immersion does not feel as deep nor as depressing as it has in the past…but as behaviours can quickly suck you downwards, I still need to watch out.

And so I am writing this post as an acknowledgement of where I am, and because I wondered whether this was a common experience for anyone else. Whether after the first part of recovery when you’ve got back to health, there is a wobble as the scaffolding comes down; and, if this is the case, what’s the best thing to do next? I am working along the lines of balance (hooks to hold onto rather than ropes to bind me down) and also refusing to go back (because if I have fought tooth and nail for the life I have built), but this is all new territory and I’d love a little extra support.

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6 Responses to “Unbinding”

  1. Chloe Cook says:

    Everyone has wobbles sweetheart. You’ll get through them, whatever form they take and however they affect you. It’s all part of your journey. I have never given up faith, hope or belief that you will beat this, and I still stand by that 100%. You are incredible and my constant source of inspiration. I can’t really offer any practical advice because I think that the answers will come to you in time when you are ready for them. But hopefully these words will make a difference in some way. Thinking of you lots. Love and hugs Cxx

  2. James says:

    “My life is heading in the right direction; it is only the eating disorder that is trying to yank it back.”

    Same thing here, and I’m going through similar things. The balance between letting go and having structure to keep recovery in place and not backslide is a tricky conundrum. It’s also all linked in to what’s happening at the time, emotions and ‘where you are’ in recovery and life.

    I can’t do much beyond echoing Chloe’s words and thanking you for sharing this post and summing up stuff that’s bothering me so well. :)

    I guess just stick to your guns, remember that life is exciting and that bulimia and the ‘old ways’ aren’t a part of what you truly want. The journey goes on and you deserve to enjoy it. Take care and remember in the face of doubt: love – both for this wider world that you’re embracing and for yourself. :)

  3. You are amazing and brave. Well done.

    I can’t advise yo, but I wish you luck.

  4. Hugs!! Always here for support. I was told by my guy – getting to know me was like peeling back layers of an onion and I think life is the same way. sometimes we are waivering, sometimes the path is clear. Usually when I feel in a place where you feel like you do – it is good to be aware and ask for some guidance (whether from the Universe or God). Also – don’t put so much pressure on yourself to have to know. Sometimes we need to embrace the I don’t knows in life as long as we are facing the right direction, things will happen naturally.

  5. Evan says:

    When we make big changes we can find that there is a lot to deal with and want some certainty. Unfortunately the closest certainty is usually the old way of doing things that we want to change.

    I think it is best to take a slow and steady approach – no big risks and so no big problems. Perhaps this is just my approach to life. Others are far more venturesome than I.

    It does sound like you are breaking free, which is wonderful to hear.

  6. Angela says:

    Hang in there! You are getting better-don’t let this derail you.