The thoughts of an individual going through recovery for an eating disorder or any type an addiction can be misunderstood by others or downplayed by the one suffering. Below is a post that I wrote on social media in response to the picture showed here. I want to share this on my blog in hopes to reach more people and spread awareness about eating disorders and recovery.
“When I saw this picture, it hit me deep and here’s why…
Recovery is not just an one time event..it’s a process and there are relapses. Whether it’s an eating disorder (which is my battle) or a different addiction, you don’t just go into treatment and then magically become 100% better and then continue on with life. Our battles, our addictions, our demons are with us every single day… it’s just whether we are controlling them or they are controlling us.
The sad and scary part is that the longer we battle them, the better we are at putting up a front to the people around us and appearing that we are healthy, happy or anything that’s not sick. We get better at going through life pretending we are ok… and that hiding and pretending begins in the hospitals and treatment centers.
There is a part of you that wants to fight to get better and be happy, but there’s still that other voice in your head (ED) that is still trying to have control and keep you sick. It begins with lying to nurses and doctors, hiding food, and all sorts of other manipulative games that you try to get away with. They catch on, you stay there longer. So then you learn what to say and what to do to please them and make it look like you’re making progress and there’s not that bad voice in your head anymore. You learn and follow the system. You pretend you’re better so you can get discharged, knowing that you’re not 100% and the real you is scared of what is going to happen when you’re back out in the real world.
There were times when I was released from the hospital and I immediately went back to my old behaviors but this time I was better at disguising them. And then there were times when I was released from treatment centers and I did really good for months!
Recovery is full of ups and downs. I have relapsed with anorexia but got back on my feet. Later down the road, I relapsed again but into other eating disorders…multiple times. Many of those times family, friends and doctors didn’t even know (and still don’t). I have picked myself up countless of times and fight these battles alone, pretending everything is ok, just like many others who struggle with eating disorders, addiction, depression and any other mental illnesses or life struggles.
I am sharing this because I know what it is like to try to keep it together when you’re falling apart. You hide your struggles and tend to keep to yourself and do your own thing. When you are surrounded with people, you put on a smile and try to act happy so they don’t worry or think something is wrong.
So maybe if you know that you’re not alone and that there are others who are hiding the battles they’re fighting, it will help you come forward and take the next steps to get better and get the control back of your life. Because there is support out here and you don’t have to fight alone.”