Recovery Road: My Journey into Anorexia & Back.

Via Paige Leigh
on Oct 28, 2014
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anorexia

I have been in and out of the hospital three times in the span of 10 days, and I’m starting to believe this is not longer the fault of Mercury’s relentless retrograding—

for we are now entering a new eclipse, the pain still persists, and the doctors do not know what is wrong.

But I do.

I am recovering from anorexia nervosa. I have transitioned from a place of warring with my body mentally, in a way that manifests physically, to warring with my body physically, in a way that has manifested mentally.

Yesterday my doctor told me my body is punishing me for having punished it for so long. A physical manifestation of emotional suppression that has accumulated for years and now rests in my gut.

How does one not internalize this pain?

My stomach hates me. I am literally full of shit, both physically and mentally. The non-glamorous diagnoses are severe constipation, obstipation (a disorder’s trigger), prescriptions and homeopathic remedies, and am scheduled for endoscopies and colonoscopies galore.

I have been so dishonest with how I’m doing in my recovery process, that my emotions have molded themselves into a brick that is now my stomach.

As if I wasn’t already self-conscious.

But, as with anything, if we cannot figure out what’s going on without, we must examine within. So it’s time to dig emotionally, to hit the root of the weed:

What is it that you’re not letting go of? Why must you keep holding on, my dear?

For all of you in the post-addiction cycle, in the aftermath of whatever hell you’ve been through and back, first of all, welcome back.

Secondly, it’s okay to dwell in the disappointment of spoiled expectation. Recovery is not easy. In my stubbornness, I have done myself a disservice by trying to do this alone. But whatever dis-order or dis-ease has manifested for you in the first place, it was probably a calling out for you to use your voice, not silence it.

Send ego on its way and ask yourself this:

What does it look like to be gentle with yourself? What are your modes of self-care? What must be released in order to create space for newness?

Speak to your pain: I hear you, I feel you and I am now, so lovingly, releasing you.

Do not give up, sweet souls. Do not cave into your own hand-crafted cocoons that keep you wallowing in the sorrows of Dark.

Feeling defeated and disheartened is okay, so long as you feel. Don’t just lean into it: jump, dive, delve deeper, deeper, deeper until you once again love yourself.

Surrender to the pain.

Surrender to the grief, the sadness, the transition, the change.

Surrender to Self, to Spirit.

Whether or not your pains are audible or visual or somatic or visceral, they’re all speaking to you.

Are you listening?

I hate to say that body-mind synchronization is not a snap-of-your-fingers process. For now, we must softly sit with the discomfort, and trust that this pain, once resolved, will be our avenue for helping others treat themselves with the same loving-kindness.

Gratitude is our cure for most things. And within it, we can continue unpacking.

Though recovery insinuates “getting better,” there is also grieving involved, because there’s been a death, a separation, from the once-familiar patterns and lifestyles we’ve known. When we tell people we are in recovery, they automatically assume we’re doing okay, and the issue at hand is completely dismissed as a thing of past.

I was told that recovery begins the day you walk out the door, and that you cannot have even a little bit of your disorder and be in recovery at once.

Harsh demands! It’s important to give voice to the fact that this isn’t fun and it sure as hell ain’t easy. But that doesn’t mean we have to do it alone.

One of the most realistic and helpful quotes I’ve found in my process was from Jerusha Hull McCormack’s book, Grieving: A Beginner’s Guide to Recovery.

“The word ‘recovery’ can be dangerous. It may even be useful to say to yourself from the beginning that you will never recover, in the sense that you will never recover the old life that was there before the death. ‘Recovery’ implies that you can literally go back to where you were before death intervened. But you can never go back to that life. The old life has died with the person you loved.” 

Whatever your own “death” may be, or your grief or your addiction, they’re all valid. Wherever you rest in your recovery process, you are just as strong on your weak days as you are on your strongest.

Be real with yourself. Set yourself up for success, not failure, in the words that you choose, the thoughts that you think, the things that you speak. Everybody’s healing from something, and I’m happy to share your pain.

The wounded-ness in me salutes the wounded-ness in you.

Peace and kindness to your minds, your hearts, your bodies.

∼ Paige Leigh

 

 

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Editor: Emily Bartran

Photo: Google Images 

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About Paige Leigh

Paige Leigh is currently an undergrad at Naropa University, studying Creative Writing and Literature on campus, and exploring all contemplative psychological and spiritual practices off campus. In her free time, she rides the cycling moon, thrives on sunshine, and continues to bask in Boulder’s beauty.

Comments

4 Responses to “Recovery Road: My Journey into Anorexia & Back.”

  1. sister says:

    Paige,

    As someone who has struggled–is still struggling–with recovering from an eating disorder, you put my exact feelings into words. So many people think that if you aren’t dealing with it as obviously you must be over it. I still thoughts every day that are a constant reminder that this doesn’t go away so easily. I admire your strength and bravery in sharing your story. You are an inspiration to me that it can get better, but it’s ok to still struggle sometimes. Thank you so so much for putting into words what I can’t say…yet.

  2. sister says:

    Paige,

    Thank you so so much for sharing your story. I am recovering from an eating disorder too, and unlike you, I haven't been brave enough to share my struggles. You are so right in saying that this doesn't just go away. I feel like a little piece of my disorder will always be with me, but I hope to be strong enough to overcome it soon. You are an inspiration to me that it can get better, and that it is ok to falter on your journey. I really admire you for your bravery.

  3. mike frisone says:

    Beautiful sharing of words and your heart that will help others immensely,Love you and am always in support and prayer.

  4. Shawnee says:

    Paige, I love this!!