I gave this post the following title for reasons you will discover.
I once read a short story called The Things They Carried. It was about men serving in the Vietnam War and the items they carried with them like letters, ammunition and the intangible things they carried like fear and guilt. For me, i am writing specifically about the intangible things i am carrying today: Regret. I had my final session with my principal therapist yesterday and i still carry many things with me which i chose not to share with her for different reasons. I wrote down some of these things yesterday to help ease the load on my mind and yet i am still troubled by the fact that i felt unable to share them with her. I also felt as if our final session was my worst session with her. It was cold and without feeling and yet i feel a lot. It is as though sometimes you only realise the importance of an event, process or person after that thing has long gone. For me, it is still close enough for me no to regret the things unsaid so i have decided to try to schedule 1 more appointment with her in order to dispense with regret.
For me, motivation is like a strange breeze which blows without warning. Which direction it will come from is unknown, where it will lead is unforseeable but if you are able to catch that breeze, ride on the wings of that breeze, it may just land you closer to recovery than you ever thought possible. And that is where i find myself today. Hoping that i will catch that breeze, looking to the weather forecast to see where i can catch that specific breeze which i need to propel me towards recovery. I have to ask myself why i am least motivated at my lowest ED point ever. I don't know. I was more motivated to recover when my weight was stable and when depression was at its peak. Now that i am not obviously depressed and my weight is at its lowest, i find myself unmotivated.
I am doing something about recovery. I said yes to a day programme which i never thought i would find myself in this time last year. I have always been able to 'Live' with and ED. I paraphrase the word live because to me, i was living. I got to travel, study, work, write, laugh, enjoy simple pleasures whilst having the ED in my pocket or was it the other way round? Was i in ED's pocket. I don't know. But at least i thought i was in control of sorts. I could but b/p away for a few days, cuddle up to restriction and believe that i was in control because to me, there is nothing worse than binging and purging. I would happily choose restriction. The lesser of 2 evils i figured.
And yet was i really living? Was i enjoying the beauty of companionship? Was i sociable or was i living like a hermit/recluse at times? The latter is the answer. I chose to see friends when ED allowed, i attended events as ED allowed and i shunned people when ED dictated. I downright cut people off if ED needed greate attention on any given day. Do i regret the fact that i have never been in a longterm relationship because i chose ED? Yes. Do i regret the state of my relationship with God at present? Yes.
But i am constantly reminded that i cannot rewrite the past. The pen i have only flows from left to right. Not the other way round. All i can do is plan for the future and plan for a future without regrets. Pain is inevitable they say. Suffering is not. Hmmm. I continue to ponder this one. Well, the pain i refer to at present is the pain of recovery which to me translates into the pain of eating, feeling my body grow once more, tolerating emotions i would rather put to one side. I see some of this pain returning as i start day programme on Monday. Am i nervous or anxious? I don't know. I am simply choosing no to think about what Day 1 will bring.
I know that in my mind, i am not planning on reducing the amount i exercise since i consider it healthy. I am not planning on wholeheartedly following the meal plan. Not for calorific reasons but simply because i am fearful of b/p and i am still a control freak. There. I said it. Sue me!!!!!! I think it is important i write this out because i want to go into it motivated to change and i want to go willing to do all they ask of me and i want to succeed/not please. I want to RECOVER. But am i willing to totally trust the professionals? No. Why? Because a part of me feels that they are the ones that got me into this mess in the first place. Another part of me thinks they simply want me to put the weight back on so i can be considered 'better'. I am stubborn to a fault. I admit that. I would rather be a low weight bulimic than a restored weight bulimic. There i said it. In their opinion, i am considered AN. In mine, i give a wry smile because i simply consider myself a very successful bulimic with all the irony that engenders. How can you be successful at having an ED??? Hellooooo!!!!!!!!!! Well clearly, i consider 'success' the fact that i can maintain a low weight and still eat all i want. Is that messed up? Yes. Is that the real me talking? Of course not. The real me knows that success is a life without an ED. Success means subtracting the ED from me. Hmmmm.
Well, here's to Monday. We'll see what their kind of recovery brings.
I want to say finally that i have been inspired greatly by the blog of Now is Now who gave a frank account of her time in a Day Programme in the US. I am based in Europe and want to give an account not the account, of what a Day Programme is like in one of Europe's greatest cities (in my humble opinion).