On my first day of rehab, I was asked the following:
You are taking a big step in your journey towards recovery. How does it feel to take this step? What are your worries? What are you excited about in your transition to our center?
Here was my response:
I’m learning to love myself and take ownership of my happiness and health. I’m beginning to realize that I am more than my external motivators: more than my accomplishments, more than my activities, more than exercise, and more than food.
I’ve decided to strip all the noise away and discover what’s left:
And it needs a lot of work.
For a long time, I have hated myself. So I’ve distracted myself and “perfected” myself to feel like I’m enough. I want to become enough for myself: that’s my intention at this treatment center. That’s what I’m excited to do.
At my core, I don’t love myself or believe that I deserve to heal. And for a long time I have not wanted to heal. But in coming here, I made a break through: I decided that I want to heal. At least part of me does. I still carry the core belief that I don’t deserve to heal, but I’m excited to work on and treat that belief.
I’m excited to give myself a chance at recovery, a chance at happiness, to save my life. At this point, I feel that I may still relapse. But I’m at least going to give myself a try.
I’m excited to work on my perfectionism, to appreciate myself and my body and to give myself some relief.
I’m scared of what I’m doing. I’m scared I made a mistake in coming here. Reality hit me hard the moment I walked in the door and received news about my bone loss. I wished I had never come. I wished I had stayed in my bubble, happily continuing to restrict and exercise. But I still would have lost the bones. And had I continued to live in ignorance, I would have wound up losing much more.
I’m scared of losing control. Of hating myself without a filter (i.e. a control mechanism) to protect myself.I‘m scared to trust myself, to give myself permission to indulge, literally and figuratively.
Right now there is a chance for me to fully recover, to get my life back, to move again. I’m heartbroken by what I’ve lost, but excited by the possibility, and I’m going to lean into that in recovery.
I want to feel that I deserve this, that I can have this, that I deserve and can achieve a life of happiness, balance, and an appropriate amount of self-control. I hope recovery will teach me to love myself again, and bring me to a new place of balance and freedom where I’ve never been.
Of course this feels surreal. I never imagined that I’d wind up in an eating disorder treatment center, especially during my senior year of high school. This sucks. This is not the life I want. Not anymore. College is right ahead of me, and I’m going to get the experience I deserve. I won’t fuck it up like I did in high school.
I’m ready. I’m scared, but I’m here. I’m doing this. It’s now or never. I’m asking for the help I need, and I’m getting the life I deserve.
Above: the page where it happened
In closing, I would like to say that the opinions expressed here are entirely my own and may not resonate with everyone; take what you like and leave the rest. I would also like to say that circumstances have changed, and today I truly do love myself. If you liked what you read here, I invite you to share it, as these messages are for all.