For whatever reason, I spent a lot of time last night and this morning reflecting back on my recovery so far.
I looked at old pictures of myself when I was so deep inside of Ed’s world, I thought back on the hunger pains and emotional emptiness that I used to feel, and I thought back about how I even started recovery in the first place.
When I thought about how I began recovery, my mind went straight back to the first place where I actually admitted that I have an eating disorder: my eating disorder anonymous group.
Even though I do not attend the group meetings anymore, that group, and the girls in that group, were the very first part of my recovery.
It is sad and yet beautiful for me to think about those EDA meetings.
The sad part is remembering how broken I would feel every single time I walked into that meeting.
Remembering the sadness and self disappointment I would feel leaving every meeting on Thursday nights as I would go meet my grandma for dinner, wishing I could just eat something other than a plain salad with her, but knowing deep down that it just wasn’t going to happen.
I remember the heavy feelings of shame that Ed made me feel for even going to the meeting in the first place.
Why am I going? Why am I here? I like Ed-I need Ed. I am only here because I promised my mom I would go to get her off my back, it’s not because I have a real problem-these were the thoughts that Ed flooded my mind with before each and every meeting.
I remember sitting around in that circle, listening and hearing the other girls speak of their recovery, and I remember thinking to myself “that will never be me.”
But there are two beautiful things that come to mind when I think of these very first EDA meetings-and that is the girls who I met there, and the place that I am in recovery today that those meetings led me to.
There were a few girls who I met in those meetings, five to be exact-and they changed my life.
Those girls, were the very first people that I openly and honestly talked to about my eating disorder.
They were the very first people who I was honest with. I was honest with them before I could even be honest with myself.
It didn’t matter that I walked in there talking about how much I felt I was spiraling out of control-it didn’t matter that I walked in there pale, weak, and defeated-these girls opened their hearts to me, and accepted me-even with Ed as part of me.
It was those girls, who even gave me E’s card (my therapist). It was those girls who let me know, that I could not, should not, and am not expected to do recovery alone.
They were the ones who gave me the courage to sit my family down and finally tell them, with my own words, the truth they already knew;that I was battling an eating disorder,
They gave me faith, hope, and inspiration when I had absolutely none of my own.
They gave me support and they offered me their truths.
They told me their stories, their struggles,and their own experiences with their own Ed’s, and I will forever be grateful for that.
Hearing their truths made me believe that I had a truth of my own, and that it was only time before I found it.
I don’t really keep in touch very often with these girls anymore, and I think after this post I will try to contact them.
Looking back on my past and looking back at my recovery has shinned the light on how important these girls were, and are, in my recovery.
In essence, these girls are the ones who led me to fully pursue treatment for my eating disorder, and therefore, they had a huge helping hand in where I am in my recovery today.
It hurts me and pains my heart to look back on those EDA meetings.
I can feel the brokenness, the failure, and the defeat that I used to feel when I walked in there all over my body.
But at the same time, it brings me joy to look back, and now look at the present, and see that I am no longer that broken and defeated girl.
I may not be completely free of Ed yet, and I may be fighting with the idea of accepting the new person I am becoming and will be without Ed, but I am, by all means, going to be the undefeated champion when it comes to this fight between Ed and I, one way or another.
Today, I look back on my recovery so far, and I am so deeply grateful for those people-my family, my friends, and the girls in that EDA group, who started this journey with me even when I had no idea of how I would succeed.
They started this journey with me before this blog, before I had found my inner strength, and before the fighter in me emerged-and it is something so beautiful and special to me, words truly cannot express my gratitude towards them.
I am not broken anymore and I am not the same girl who first walked into that EDA meeting.
Now, I am the girl in that circle who is in recovery.
Where I once sat in that EDA meeting and thought to myself, “I can’t do this,” I can now genuinely and proudly say, not only to myself, but to you all, “I can, am, and will do this,” and to that I will say, “hello life.”