Permission

by MB


You are allowed to

  • Be sick
  • Be broken
  • Mess up at work
  • Mess up with friends
  • Sometimes be really bad at recovery
  • Be amazing at recovery
  • Make progress
  • Move backwards
  • Be ashamed of your body
  • Not be ashamed of your body
  • Go days without crying
  • Cry every day
  • Talk about sex
  • Have sex
  • Enjoy sex
  • Numb it out sometimes
  • Go out late and dance aggressively
  • Know it's wrong and do it anyways
  • Be confused
  • Misunderstand yourself
  • Sleep all day
  • Not be as ok as you were before

You may not always remember this list in the moment, but that's ok. You will remember it when it's time.

 


Breakthroughs

by MB


Something changed for you in Bali, she observed today. This is a new phase of recovery. The wanting to figure it out, to figure your life out, to realize you are an adult tasked with the ownership of your own life.

1. I don't think I could form a relationship with someone new (platonic or romantic) where I didn't tell them about my eating disorder. Because, she reminded me today, that was part of my identity for so long. How could I possibly be open with someone and not disclose that part of myself to them? 

That's a breakthrough.

2. So if it's a one night stand, it's ok if it's just sex. But if it's something more, you want a relationship. Sex isn't enough on its own.

That's a huge breakthrough.

3. You're working on yourself. You're figuring everything out. You're facing your demons. 

That's a breakthrough. 

***

You're letting your emotions drive you, not your head. You need to put it away at work and let your head guide you. You feel like you should be working on this all the time but you have a job - you can't. That's ok. You're going through something.


The Language of Symptoms

by MB


 

"When we think of recovery, it can be easy to envision the positive—the possibilities, the health, the connection to one’s self and to others. But when a symptom as powerful as not eating, for example, is forgone, in a sense, the patient is losing a language, which is to say she’ll be losing a treasured part of herself. She knows herself through this language. She understands the world through this language. It would be quite strange if she were not ambivalent about giving this up.

Recovery from an eating disorder is a long and involved process and it is nothing new to say that grief is a part of this process. What I’ve considered here is the grief that may need to be processed around the loss of the language of the symptom and what that means for the patient’s commitment to therapy and to recovery. Perhaps if this loss of language, and all that goes with it, is understood, named, and worked through, the patient might be more able to look for other, more adaptive ways, of communicating her complexities to herself and to the world."

Tina Villalobos, McCallum Place Blog