Help

by MB


I asked for help today. The act of the needless wonder became too exhausting, so I gave in. I don't have it all figured out. I need support. Spiritually. Emotionally. Physically.

Terrified. Emotions and limbs numb; the words escaped from my mouth before I could filter them. Asking was the hardest part. Admitting defeat and imperfection.

It's all part of the process, though. Admitting you need help when you lack it. Declaring, terrified, you have feelings - ugly as they are - that demand acknowledgement and comfort.

I forgot she wasn't you when I asked her for help. I had pictured it would be you the entire time.

Although I feel it would be a tremendous disservice to you, to me, and to the work we've done together, I cannot help but think of Plan B. If these emotions become too much. 

***

Part of being a parent, and I don't think we are all instinctively good at this - some of us are making it up as we go, is telling your kids that you can handle their emotions. Whatever you're feeling, if you're sad, vulnerable, angry, jealous, I can handle it. 

***

And it turned out that I was all right. It turned out it was all right with me to be human, to have hungers, to have needs, to take space. It turned out that I had a self, a voice, a whole range of values and beliefs and passions and goals beyond what I had allowed myself to see when I was sick. There was a person in there, under the thick ice of the illness, a person I found I could respect.

Recovery takes time, patience, enormous effort, and strength. We all have those things. It’s a matter of choosing to use them to save our own lives—to survive—but beyond that, to thrive. If you are still teetering on the brink of illness, I invite you to step firmly onto the solid ground of health. Walk back toward the world. Gather strength as you go. Listen to your own inner voice, not the voice of the eating disorder—as you recover, your voice will get clearer and louder, and eventually the voice of the eating disorder will recede. Give it time. Don’t give up. Love yourself absolutely. Take back your life.