What Does Recovery Mean to You?
This is an age old question, I've answered it a few times and I think I've answered it differently every single time I've done it. It all comes down to one thing, to the main issue. My biggest issue is my eating disorder, which leads to my self-hatred, my rubbish self-confidence, my weight and a lot of frustration unlike any that I've felt since I was about ten years old. The thing is, back then, there was one reason for my feelings, it was what I think of like my brain is too intelligent for my social and emotional development. Yes, I struggled back then, yes, things were hard but honestly, I think half of the solution was that I was only really contending with one big issue; my autism.
Also, I was young, I was very much still a child and so my illness was not as all-encompassing as it is now, and even now it is possible less than it was when I was around fifteen and my life felt as though it was totally ruled under anxiety, depression, and self-hatred.
So, recovery has meant different things for me at different times in my mental health journey. I think, as a person who has had mental ill-health for longer than not. I safely say I will always have fragile mental health, which is ok. I can deal with that. The thing is that this hurdle in the guise of an eating disorder is so big that not even those with the longest legs in the world could leap over it without getting stuck on top in the process.
I have an eating disorder. I sometimes don't feel that I truly accept that. Sometimes I don't want to deal with it. I hide it from my friends and I'm not quite sure who really knows about it and who doesn't. I also feel like a lot of people wouldn't believe me if I told them, I mean I'm fat, not ridiculously skinny. Even the 'f'' word fills me with self-hatred and upset. I hate my size but it, and not talking about the ED very often, those things make me wonder if I am skipping the first step; am I accepting that this is what is wrong? Is that why it has taken so many years for me to be in the position I am finally in? I don't know. I just know that freedom from this issue is my biggest goal in life at present. I know I want total freedom, I really do, but I am also aware that very few people get rid of this sort of thing forever, most carry it with them for life.
So, for me, for what recovery means? To me I suppose it means acceptance of my illness and gaining the skills so that when it rears it's ugly head again I will be prepared and I will have the tools to deal with it.
I need to deal with some of the worry and some of the upset that led to me this place, what caused the ED to happen. We have wondered what the control factor was, the type that is at the root of most eating disorders, and it seems to have been identified in a place I never expected and that makes more sense for me and my stage of life. Maybe my issue is not being the same as everyone else, not being developmentally like my peers. It's an issue I didn't think I had but that I am now seeing for the first time.
Recovery means feeling confident, feeling happy, feeling more free and feeling as though my life is more fulfilling. I need to be around other people who are like me but those that are like me not just because of my disabilities but because of other interests I have. Recovery is truly beginning a life without my parents, beginning to live on my own and do the things that I need to do and want to do. To be fully myself without holding on to someone I feel I should be, that, that is what recovery really means to me.
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