“You can’t cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water.”
- Rabindranath Tagore
For me, the sea is my eating disorder, treatment is my vessel, and the opposite shore is a recovered mind. I’ve been struggling a lot recently, treading water and getting tired. It’s a riptide, this disordered thinking; it sneaks up on you, grabbing you by the ankles and pulling you down, down, to the darkest depths of yourself, where light can no longer reach you. You can’t tell which way is up – you’re drowning, losing hope, but for the past two years I’ve been fighting to keep my head above water. I’m trusting the waves to carry me forward, and I’m a little more confident this time because I’ve got a treatment team to buoy me along.
Today, I’m crossing my metaphorical sea: I’m heading back to my hometown to enter an outpatient treatment program and live with my sister. By doing this, I’ll be that much closer to having a healthier life. I’ll be closer to looking in the mirror without crying, to walk out my front door in confidence, and to look people in the eye without feeling as though I need to apologize for my presence. I’ll be closer to eating normally and regularly and maybe actually enjoying it, and to keep it down without wanting to purge. I’ll be closer to loving myself and my body instead of feeling resentment or disgust. I know these things aren’t going to change overnight – if there’s one thing I’ve learned after two years of being in recovery, it’s that changing old habits takes a lot of hard work and discipline – but going back into treatment will help to strengthen my resolve.
By going home, I’ll be proving to myself and to my family that I am committed to living my life and taking advantage of all it has to offer – all I have to offer. I am excited, almost. This past week I’ve been surrounded by friends whom I love and their support has made me feel confident and motivated to fight against the undertow. They’ve done so much for me, and now they are passing me from their caring arms to the ones waiting for me in Baltimore. Surrounded by support, encouragement, love – I am buoyed. I am ready.