Hi again everyone!
In today's post I thought it might be fun to share some of my reasons for recovery, in the hope they might inspire you to come up with a list of your own!
I find it useful to have a bank of these that I can access, much like my mantras, so I can call on them when I'm struggling with intrusive thoughts or the likes of facing a fear food or implementing opposite actions surrounding a disordered behaviour. This is because they help remind me why I'm putting myself through the anxieties and discomfort of recovery, and so encourage me to keep fighting, even when I'm exhausted or feel like giving up.
1. To be able to give my full self to those I love
- I want to live a life whereby the people I love get to spend time with the real me, and all of me, not just the the slither of Mais not absorbed by ED thoughts. I want to have the energy to partake in the things they do, and I want to be able to concentrate on, and really appreciate the moments we share together.
2. To be able to say "YES"
- Our ED's can make us so rigid that we lose our ability to be impulsive or do anything that goes against our strict routines, and I don't want to spend the rest of my life missing out on the opportunities to have real fun and make genuine happy memories. Therefore, I want to recover so I can live a life whereby I'm able to a adopt more of a 'f*** it' attitude, and do things like go on surprise date nights, or for unplanned meals or drinks with friends. I want to be able to enjoy a day out with my family, or grab a cake or a milkshake just because I fancy it. No more saying "no" just because my ED tells me to! I might still have to challenge that voice now, but one day I want to be able to go about my day doing whatever I want without questioning it.
3. To be able to maintain friendships
- Your ED can make it impossible to think about anything or anyone else, besides food or thoughts about your weight, or restriction and compensation behaviours. Therefore, I want to recover so that I can prioritise people, and really engage in conversations and make meaningful relationships with people. When looking at what traits I admire in others, I pick out qualities such as being caring, thoughtful and a good listener, and so I want to live a life that enables me to be these things.
4. To play netball again
- Before my ED I adored netball. I played for and trained with my local team, as well as competing for two seasons with my county team, and coaching a team of my own. It was always my number one hobby and I dedicated a lot of my time to it. When my health deteriorated due to my ED, I became less and less fit to play, and only continued to do so for disordered reasons. My illness stole my passion for the sport and instead made me view it as a form of exercise that I was compelled to do. I want to recover so that I can play for fun again, and trust in myself that I'm doing it for the pleasure I get from team sport, not to make up for what I've eaten, or compensate for what I'm yet to eat.
5. To be able to eat intuitively, and freely!
- I want to live a life where I'm not scared of food. I want to be able to eat what I want and not second guess myself. I want to be able to go to the supermarket or to a restaurant and order what I fancy, not what I think the lowest calorie option is, or what I think I should be eating based on what others are having. I want to be able to sit and eat a whole bar of chocolate whilst I watch a film if I want to, but I also want to know that I can just eat a bit if that's what my body wants! I want to be able to bake and not be terrified of the ingredients, and to let others prepare food for me and enjoy it even if I don't know exactly what went in or how they cooked it.
6. To stop worrying those I love
- I want to live a life whereby everyone I care about isn't worried about me, or scared for my life. I don't want them to have to plan things around me, because even though I'm insanely lucky that they're willing to, I want to relieve them of that burden. I want to be able to care for others, not trapped in my own little bubble, and I want to make everyone who's supported me proud. Yes, I believe we have to want recover for ourselves first, but I want to recover so that I can live in the world with other people too. I want to be able to enjoy the time I spend with my family, and I want to look forward to the life me and my girlfriend have ahead of us. I don't want those I love to be scared to make plans or look to the future with hope because they fear I won't be there to experience it.
7. To relearn who I am without my ED
- I want to live the life of Mais. I want to be passionate about things, I want to have new hobbies, I want to see new places, meet new people, and just have a personality again! Those who support me tell me that I'm still the Mais they know, but I want them to be able to say that without choking back tears. I don't want who I am to be overshadowed by my ED. I want to live by the values I hold that my ED has stopped me from honouring. I don't want to be irritable 24/7, and I don't want to be disengaged or unable to connect. I want to be present, and honest, to care about things again... be a good listener, be considerate, and to do all these things with all my being. I want to go out and see the world, to have stories to tell and conversations to have... to make memories. I just want to be me, and to give myself the chance to learn who me really is. I can't hide behind this illness forever, and moreover I don't want to.
8. For my health
- I want to live a life whereby I'm not in pain constantly, where I'm not turning blue from the cold, or unable to sit down because everything digs in. I don't want my bones to ache, or to be covered in bruises constantly, I don't want to have to worry about my heart, or whether I'm going to pass out if I stand up too quickly. I want my period back, and I want the energy to be the bouncy Mais I used to be, not tired and out of breathe constantly. I want to be healthy.
9. To work on my career
- I want to be able to reach my full potential at work, and to be able to take opportunities outside those that fit into the closed off life my ED has forced me into. I don't want to have to take my extra breaks and have special exceptions made for me because of my illness. These are necessary now, and I'm very grateful for them, but I don't want to spend the rest of my life as 'the sick girl'. I also want to find a job I love, and I want to be able to be good at it, and to excel and enjoy it without being crippled by my twisted perfectionism. I want my work to complement my life and enhance it, but not define it, and I don't want to value myself based off my perception of my success.
10.To stop living a double life
- Our ED's can make us deceitful and cause us to live a dishonest life that hurts us and the ones we love. I've spent too much time in quasi recovery, lying to the people around me, and pretending I'm committing to real recovery, even fooling myself, but still holding on to those little ED behaviours that keep me trapped with their false promises of safety and security. I want to live a life that I control. I don't want to have to pretend to be getting better and be held to the expectations of that, whilst actually still suffering and hurting my body through restriction and compensation behaviours. I want to recover properly, and live to see my recovered life unfold, because despite what my ED might tell me, that's the life I want.
I hope you enjoyed reading my reasons to recover and getting an insight into the life I want to live. I know first hand that a life free of your ED can seem so far away that it's hardly worth hoping for, but by continuing to fight, and challenge our ED thoughts we will get there. Whilst it may try to tell us we're only dreaming of this life, we can use these motivations to strengthen our opposite actions, and throw it back in our ED's face.
Keep fighting everyone!
More from me soon,
Mais // the Recovery Bean <3