A Look To The Past
I decided to look through my old journal from when I was in treatment at Center for Hope of the Sierras, and I came upon an entry, from June 25, 2013, where I was talking about a new tank top that I bought at Target while I was in a residential treatment centre (RTC). Following my rant about how my new tank top looked on me, I wrote in all caps and asked myself: WHY CAN’T I JUST LOVE MY BODY?
Body Image: An Every Day Struggle
It has been more than 2 years since I wrote that journal entry and loving my body is something that I still struggle with every day. Although I am in recovery that doesn’t stop me from standing in front of a mirror or window to body check. It doesn’t stop me from feeling uncomfortable in the clothes I wear. And it doesn’t stop me from letting ED choose my wardrobe for the day.
The Reality Of Recovery
I left treatment in August 2013 and since then I have been through a relapse and many short lapses. Im only 2 years in on my journey to recovery and it’s still too early in my journey to completely be rid of these thoughts. Most people think that because I went to treatment for my eating disorder I would come back cured of ED and it’s all rainbows and smiles. REALITY CHECK! After treatment I got thrown back into the real world where I had to really put the skills I learned in treatment to the test. Life after treatment has been the hardest part of my recovery. I’ve had trying moments of defeat and then slowly picked myself up again. I’ve also had moments where I conquered ED.
Learning To Appreciate My Body
I still don’t love my body, but I can say I appreciate it more than I used to. It pains me to know how much damage I have done to it and how it’s still recovering. However, I do try to remember to tell myself that my body dysmorphia gives me a skewed version of what I see compared to what other people see. I see someone who is over weight (because I’m weight restored) when the rest of the world just sees a woman.
People tell me I look great all the time. I hope that one day I will actually believe it when someone complements the way I look. ED and body dysmorphia seem to have broken the part of my brain that accepts compliments. I’m working to understand that looking healthy doesn’t mean I look fat but that I no longer look like I’m dying and there is actual light in my eyes.
One day I will be able to say that I LOVE MY BODY, and on that day I will celebrate moving another step forward in my recovery.
Want more posts like these? Check out Time To Take It Personally–Mental Health & The Fashion Industry, The Invisible Eating Disorder, Alone With My Eating Disorder