Every time I go to post something personal, I’m very hesitant, so here it goes.
This past weekend I traveled to Connecticut to watch my parents house while they were on vacation. What was supposed to be a relaxing, productive, and stress-free weekend quickly escalated into a ravenous, out of control, and child-like 72+ hours.
My parent’s home is the one environmental trigger that still holds a substantial amount of power over me. That was the location where I struggled with my disordered eating behaviors the most:
- Ate food in an attempt to fill the emptiness
- Consumed with feelings of guilt and shame
- Had arguments with my parents around my fears of judgment, expectations, and losing control
- Stayed in bed for hours trying to fight off the physical pain
Fast-forward to now, when I find myself there alone for a substantial amount of time, I feel submerged back into this toxic environment. Moving to New York became a safe haven, but my growth comes to a jolting halt when I go home. It feels like all of my growth flies out the window, and the self-sufficient adult I’ve become is now a child again.
You may be asking yourself, then why voluntarily go back to a place that seems so dangerous for your mental health? My answer being, it’s complicated.
Surprisingly, I LOVE going home. I adore my parents, my dog, spending time on the porch and in the pool, plus it’s an easy way to escape the city. That’s the tricky thing with ED and mental disorders; it’s messy, non-linear, and full of emotional obstacles. One moment, life is all under control and the next I’m ashamed and weak.
After a slip, I put so much pressure on myself to to uphold this persona of recovery and togetherness. Of course, this only escalates the internal shaming and guilty thoughts; which in turn elongates the ‘slip’.
It took a few days, but last night I admitted to myself that I’m struggling and that it’s okay not to be okay. In the last few weeks, I’ve easily allowed my mood to be determined by peers, friends, even strangers and the fear of their judgement.
Today, September 7th, I am forgiving myself. Giving myself love and compassion because I am worth it. I acknowledge that I did damage my body and well-being for three days, but also in the long run – it’s only three days.
This is not the end. Recovery is a bitch, but I am stronger. This weekend was a learning experience to new beginnings. I’m incredibly grateful for having people around that I (finally) feel comfortable enough reaching out too when I’m struggling. I know a lot of people with similar issues have a hard time reaching out because it’s such a ‘hidden’ disease, so I hope someone can read this and know they’re not alone in their struggles.
art credit: olive_tree_id (instagram)