Returning

So, I went back to college to visit my friends for Thanksgiving. To summarize, it didn’t go so well. I mean, some parts were fine. I hung out with my friends. I laughed. I went shopping. I reached out a few times for help.

But then there were the times when I didn’t reach out for help. When I was triggered, and just went back to all of my old behaviors. Isolating. Hiding. Purging. Putting on a smile and pretending like nothing was wrong. It was like being back in my old environment just hit the “reset” switch or something on my recovery.

I was such a contradiction. I had long talks with my friend Kim about how recovery is about the grungy stuff, about taking things one sucky moment at a time and how over time, doing what I need to do, things become slowly less sucky. I talked about how I will fight for myself despite the harm that’s been done to me, by myself and others. I could tell her these grand ideas.

And then I would go and purge.

It’s like the eating disorder became front and center again. I would be listening to my friend’s drama, and all I could think about was when she would finally shut up so that I could go do that purging she sidetracked me from on my way to the bathroom. When presented with the opportunity, I would mini-binge on crappy college food and then slip away to purge and spend the next day restricting. Thoughts and calculations and compensations swirled around in my head for 90% of the time. I felt so hypocritical. My words were trying to be healthy, but my actions were belying them. I was a walking contradiction.

But it’s Monday, and after a four day break I’m finally back at program. Time to get back on track. No more restricting. No more purging. No more using food to deal with the emptiness and anger inside. I have to use my words now, and then my actions have to follow. I need to get back to doing the hard stuff. The not-fun stuff. The stuff that ultimately is going to save my life, even though there will likely be no glamour in it. Gulp. It seems nerve-wracking. I’m worried and anxious and depressed and disappointed and curious. What will my therapist say? What’s going to happen when treatment team finds out about what happened when I was gone?

Oh well. Whatever happens, happens. Radical acceptance, right?

Okay, recovery. Let’s do this again.

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