Am I worthy of help?
Today I wanted to hop on and talk about the lag between mental and physical recovery, but in trying to write this post I've found that my thin privilege massively informs my experience. This is because throughout my suffering I've always fit eating disorder stereotypes and so have always been taken seriously by medical professionals and society. Therefore, the difficulties I'm currently navigating which are novice and relatively minor to me, are a much more damaging reality for others.
Despite both my mental and physical recovery progressing nicely, I have definitely noticed that recently the latter is slightly ahead. This is presenting some challenges for me that primarily are linked to the 'sick identity' that I have been talking so much about wanting to let go of. This is because I feel that my existence in a healthy body and my ability to frequently make non-disordered food choices invalidates my feelings. It makes me feel silly in the moments I struggle to make a recovery choice which, compared to challenges I have already overcome, should be straightforward. It also makes me feel unworthy of support in difficult moments as I feel I am not struggling enough, or at least not as much as others. This is of course however, complete nonsense as you do not have to earn the right to recover, nor the right to help and understanding. Having experienced disordered thoughts towards food or exercise for even a second is an entirely valid reason to seek help. Lack of funding and in some cases understanding in the medical world can cause you to think otherwise, and unfortunately in many cases can be a barrier to accessing professional care. This does not however mean you aren't unwell and don't deserve to get better - you are sick enough and your healing is important.
Eating disorders are highly competitive illnesses and this can result in individuals never feeling their situation is bad enough or that it is comparatively fine and so not worth the fuss. This can be incredibly toxic and make it much harder to eventually recover as the disordered neural pathways will become more ingrained in your brain over time. At one point in time I know I would have read this and interpreted it to mean I needed to get worse before I could get better, and so if you too are feeling this way lets look at what that choice would really mean...
By listening to your eating disorder you are giving up your personality, your ability to engage in conversation - to socialise, any chance of spontaneity, so many memories, important relationships, and so much precious time. You don't have to live this way. By choosing recovery even and especially when you feel least worthy of it you are giving yourself the opportunity to find happiness. I'm not saying it'll be instantaneous, as getting back to the original point of this post, it can be a long and tricky process and you will likely face many obstacles that may at times make it all seem pointless, but you will make it through.
Currently I am doing the best I've ever done in my recovery and am consequently feeling a lot more. Plenty of those feelings are good, but inevitably others are not. Just because I'm not at my lowest low does not mean I have to settle, and you don't either. We can seek further help, we can rest more, we can be kinder to ourselves, and through this we can grow.
More from me soon,
Mais// The Recovery Bean <3