One month ago I reached my healthy goal weight.
One month ago I really began to believe that full recovery from anorexia was possible.
One month ago I was so proud of myself I called my psychiatrist to tell him the good news. Dr. S later said that was when he first heard a change in my voice. He heard freedom in my voice. And although there have been ups and downs during the past month, that sense of freedom is becoming stronger each day.
That is my ultimate goal. Complete freedom from anorexia.
And I believe it can happen.
I remember when Pam weighed me at her office (I have put away the scale and my therapist monitors my weight.) I was fairly certain I had reached my goal weight because I could feel my body changing as I gained. My hips were becoming rounder and my breasts were fuller. My stomach - and this is the only part I struggled with - curved out a bit. I would look in the mirror at my slender, yet womanly figure and I was fine with it.
I didn't hate my body. I didn't feel any urges to restrict or lose weight. I wasn't disgusted by what I saw. I didn't argue with my doctor about the weight he said I needed to be at as I had in the past.
I felt free.
My anxieties about food and life began to dissipate and I felt as if I could finally breathe because I was no longer trapped by anorexia. Its hold had finally been broken.
It has been an emotional month. There are times that anxiety broke through, and I was disappointed to have lost that strong feeling of freedom. Then I realized that I had added too much sugar to my diet and as a hypoglycemic, I was crashing every time I had too much. So I re-worked things to include more protein and natural sugars, and less of the high fructose processed variety. I learned how different foods could make me feel better or worse, and how to eat properly while still including an occasional treat that I enjoyed.
This whole recovery has been a work in process.
I expected to have significant body image issues, but I haven't. I look at my body and I am still fine with it. I look at pictures of me at my thinnest; emaciated and looking like I could die at any moment and it is like looking at someone else.
I felt the same way when I read blog posts from last year. I wonder why I would ever think that remaining anorexic was a viable goal? (I actually suggested this was what I wanted to do many times last year. No wonder my husband became frustrated and hopeless. He was dealing with someone who was completely illogical, but I didn't see that I was and nothing got through to me. I felt that the idea of living with anorexia was a perfectly good one. Unbelievable.
My body continues to move and shape as I enter my second month of recovery. I am told things aren't completely settled yet, and that could take some time.
I have had to learn patience through this journey, and that has been hard. I never have been a very patient person. I believe God is trying to teach me ...
I am still emotional, and my doctor says that is normal at this stage of recovery. I know I am also emotional because of the uncertainties of life, including the relationship between David and I. This I know: we love each other very much and miss each other like crazy. We both have fears, and will need to work through them. Anorexia has left scars on both of us.
And we will see each other next Saturday for the first time in two months. I think about seeing my beloved's face again, and my breathe catches in my throat my anticipation is so great. I know I will cry, and then . . . It has been a long two months. I pray for this new beginning for us, and firmly believe we will be reconciled and able to put this behind us.
Because I will never go back. I will never re-enter that prison that is anorexia. It would kill me. Recovery tastes too sweet to want to go back.
Freedom. That is what I am aiming for — complete and total freedom from anorexia. A full life with David, growing old together in love and joy. An interesting and useful career using my writing and other talents. Becoming closer to my God so that it is His light that shines through me, and people will know He allowed me to be set free.
Believe and it will happen . . .