Day 19 - What is the hardest thing you had to give up because of your disorder/addiction?
Control. My body, I feel, hasn’t been mine for a while: I’ve relinquished control first to the eating disorder itself and now to my treatment team. I’ve stepped back, allowing these other entities to push and pull me whichever way they see fit; I’ve lost weight at the bony hands of my eating disorder and gained it back through the force-feeding of the treatment team again and again as I watch from the sidelines, dismayed by what’s happening yet unable to intervene.
When you’re sick, you don’t have much control. There’s the illusion of control, sure – of counting every calorie, of how much you exercise, of how often you purge. You have the illusion of controlling what goes into your body and whether it stays there, but you’ve lost control of yourself a long time ago. You’re living for the eating disorder at that point; it controls you.
When I was sick, I lost control of myself. Alexa the Person was gone and I became depraved, manipulative, and sneaky. I did whatever it took to keep the disease alive; other parts of my life began to suffer the more I spiraled into self-destruction, but it hardly mattered so long as I was losing weight. And I was for a good five or six years, until I was admitted into treatment for the first time in 2010.
I didn’t have much control over myself in treatment, either. A group of doctors controlled my body, of what and how much went in (and stayed in). They took my blood, took my urine, took my weights – I didn’t have much choice but to let them. It was for my own good, although I didn’t feel like it at the time, wanting instead to buck and revolt had I had the energy. My body makes its own decisions without me now, gaining weight in the places I worked so hard not to, cramping and groaning as it rebuilds itself – it is healing without me, outside of my control.
It’s hard to give up control but I think I’m starting to get some of it back, little by little. However… recovery is not a promise of getting this control back completely, but rather making peace with the understanding that there will be things outside of my control, and that that’s okay. I realize that now. As long as I stay healthy and positive, I will be alright.
See past posts from the 30 Day Recovery Challenge:
- 1/30- a Letter
- 2/30- Helping yourself
- 3/30- Three things I like about ME
- 4/30- Harming others
- 5/30- Remember me
- 6-8/30- A letter; wants & needs; turning back time
- 9/30- Role models
- 10/30- Five goals
- 11-13/30- Motivation; change; struggles
- 14-16/30- Change; triggers; gratefulness
- 17/30- Life improves in recovery
- 18/30- believing in a Higher Power in recovery