First off, and biggest, I realized I had convinced myself my life was manageable, but having to measure everything, not eating out, missing out on things to get in 10,000 steps, not being able to eat full portions of foods, eating in middle of night…it’s not manageable. I said I was fine because was in Master’s school, but I was falling asleep in class because had been up late eating. I thought was successful because of success in jobs, then customers started to comment on how sick I looked and thought I was dying. I thought my roomates were the issue, but my eating was the issue. And then eventually I lost it all, my apartment, my schooling, my job, my health. I caused my family heartache and arguments. My life was not manageable….it hasn’t been for years. I was just in denial. But now admitting it is unmanageable…I am free to change.
Which brings me to big wake up call number two: I DON’T KNOW BEST. I know, shocker. When it comes to eating though, my thoughts are screwy. I look at others and want to eat as freely as them, but then when I ask their advice/opinion I decide they are wrong and my ED thoughts are right. And that’s not surrender and isn’t recovery. If I want their way of life and a new way of thinking, I need to start to accept they might have it right and I may have it wrong. The people I trust to ask advice from I need to listen to. Because when it comes to eating….I don’t know it all…I don’t know anything. And releasing that façade that I have it all together even after years in treatment, it’s honestly freeing. To surrender to the advice, experience, and expertise of others….it’s so freeing. I don’t have to pretend to be right. I am not right when it comes to eating, and that’s alright.
And the best way I can respect and honor those whose advice I ask for and who so lovingly give their time to respond to my same questions and need for reassurance is to actually listen. To accept I may be thinking wrong and they may be right. I mean this honestly always turns out to be true. Case and point, yesterday weight was up so I wanted to restrict…after just one day of weight being up but I finally surrendered to others and wasn’t stubborn. I listened to others who told me the less I eat the more my body will hold on…so I kept my intake. Like the better part of me said to do and today…well they were all proved right…the magic weight gain vanished. But only by surrendering to the will of others and letting go of my heldfast beliefs could I experience this freedom.
So I am surrendering. I am admitting my life has become unmanageable and that I don’t know what’s right when it comes to eating. Organic chemistry? I got that! Writing? Check. Waitressing? Count me in. But eating? I just don’t get it and it’s okay. I have a disease. But just like others have to listen to doctors for a cure, so to do I. I am sick, and I need to listen to others who are healthy to help me find the path out. So yes. I am a 24-year old who doesn’t know how to eat and I’m not ashamed. I am surrendered to my Higher Power, to the others who have walked the path to recovery, and to the experts into whose care I have been placed. I will recover, but only when I accept I am not right and that’s alright.