Contributed by Jess Weiner, author, advice columnist, and self-esteem expert who knows first hand about recovery from eating disorders. This year, she celebrated 17 years of recovery and loving her imperfect life. http://www.jessweiner.com/.
Meet Jess at CED as part of National Eating Disorders Awareness Week on March 2, 2008.
“What does recovery look like?”
I get asked that question at least 10 times a week. From girls and women (and some men) who are all journeying through recovery from eating disorders. I tell them it’s not so much what it looks like as what it feels like.
It feels like freedom. Freedom to love yourself based on qualities like inner strength, resilience, sense of humor, and courage. Freedom to choose from a base of self-love and not self-loathing. Freedom to express your emotions in a healthy way not to suppress or deny that they exist.
It feels like bittersweet triumph. To say good bye to a behavior that kept you safe (or appeared to) from being vulnerable even though it was at the expense of your mental health and physical well-being. To say good bye to a destructive lover who lured you in with promises of euphoria but delivered nothing more than excruciating pain. To say good bye to elements like these can be empowering to the core.
And it feels like love. To work hard on behalf of your own well-being, voicing your inner truth to yourself and to the world. To communicate honestly with family and friends. To realize that you are worthy of love regardless of weight, pants size, or waistline.
Recovery is a river of emotions and experiences. It is not a quick fix nor a guaranteed result. It is merely the choosing of yourself over your disease every day. Slowly, step by step, counting the little moments and celebrating the small changes. It is the love you feel for living your life because you have one. That is what recovery feels like. And it’s possible.
For you, my loves, anything is possible.