Recovery Is Fleeting

Recovery is bizarre. It’s volatile and linked to so many external factors. The successes and set backs seem like tides – they have an ephemeral quality about them. I can’t quite hold onto the moments long enough to appreciate how different they feel. I don’t have time to fully conceptualize what recovery means, by the time I form a viable picture in my mind the bulk of it has washed back out to sea and I’m left with a soggy pile of sand that just seconds ago resembled a castle. It’s no secret that I’ve been struggling (the world “struggle” feels like an understatement, but it’s the best I’ve got). Yet this evening, home alone, I sat down and ate a meal. With every robotic bite I was impressed by what I was bringing myself to do. As my legs twitched under the table out of sheer terror and the ED shouted in my ear, I kept chewing and swallowing and regarding the whole event as some super-human feat. To most people it’s not that awe-inspiring – oooh, a 20 year athlete ate dinner – not so earth-shattering. Yet for a few nervous minutes I could look at my empty plate and see it as a step forward.Unfortunately moments like this are hard to come by and I realize that the occasional meal will not save me from years of malnutrition. Most days are still spent fretting over an extra Saltine or the calorie content of vitamins and fish oil. This disease is truly crazy-making. I zoom from one extreme to another so quickly that when I pass “normalcy” I can only get a quick glimpse. I someday these glimpses will become my lasting reality. I hope one day I will go to bed without thinking “I ate today, so I can’t eat tomorrow.” I hope someday I will look around the table at people enjoying a meal and feel like I fit in, instead of feeling jealous that they can eat and I can’t. One day I hope to have something to show for all the time and energy I have put into the recovery process.

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