Since starting this blog, I’ve received a lot of applause for being a “recovered” anorexic. I won’t lie, I do love the positive encouragement, but I must admit that it always leaves me feeling a bit guilty, like I am being rewarded for being somebody who I’m not quite sure that I am (at least not yet).
I was having dinner with a friend earlier this week, somebody going through her own process of recovery, and found myself relating a bit too much to the day-to-day struggles that she shared with me. I know that I preach a lot about the importance of self-acceptance, about the necessity of being comfortable in your own skin, but how much do I actually live by these rules?
I still have days when I wake up, look in the mirror, and am genuinely startled by my reflection. I still don’t have a real sense of what my body looks like except that it is bigger than ideal. I still have weeks when I decide that I ought to work out for hours each day and skip a few meals in place for a cup of tea because my stomach is not behaving the way I wish it would. I still have trouble breathing when I anticipate having to wear a swimsuit in front of people and I still can't be friends with girls who are very skinny. I can’t hold back tears when someone makes a comment about my body, because I know that, whatever they say, the underlying meaning is that I am unacceptably fat.
So while I appreciate the positive feedback, I have to be honest and tell you not to look up to me as someone who has it all figured out or who has signed some sort of peace treaty with her body. I’m not that person, but I am somebody... I am someone who works hard. And that’s exactly what this whole thing is: hard work. I work hard to focus on what is positive, to remind myself that my self-worth has nothing to do with my body, to genuinely attempt to enjoy the food that I eat, and to feel proud when I go a day without thinking that I could/should be thinner. I have a long way to go, but I think that having a long way is okay, because despite the road ahead, I can't help but be thankful to be on the upside of this disease.