[Valid Atom 1.0] Life With Cake: Eating Disorder Blog: Jan 11, 2009

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Conundrum of Recovery

I remember a therapist, many actually, telling me that for every year I put into my eating disorder, it would take the same amount of time to get to the same level of progression in recovery. 17 years? I didn't want to believe it, but as the years pass, I think to some extent the theory might prove true.

While I've been a longstanding member in the rooms of OA, at present(and for the last 3 years), I don't go. I'm somewhat of the atypical (not in a 'terminally unique' way) OA-er in that I eat anything I want, hence my blog title. Moreover, my abstinence has never been better.

With that said, there are myriad layers of recovery...defining recovery as finding serenity with food and body image.

This is where I am. I don't binge and purge or starve--haven't for a long time (yea!). However, I still have a mild obsession about when and what I will eat. I still look in the mirror to see if my "fat" has shifted or grown in any area. The difference today being that I can still leave the house if I "feel" fat.

What plagues me the most in this part of my recovery is that I still eat to comfort myself on some level. I hate this because, of course, I want to have perfect abstinence. I want never to "need" food. Even people without EDs eat for comfort from time to time.

The conundrum is that while I can let dualistic and distorted thinking impede on my serenity--the same thinking that drove me to the grocery store day after day for nearly 20 years--it is far less emotionally crippling. It's kind of like, so what? Life goes on. I don't know how my mentality has changed, but I can only attribute it to this process of recovery my therapist mentioned years back.

Cliche for the day: Recovery is not a destination. It's a process and a journey.