The further I get along this road, the more I realise that there is no destination. Everything is a journey. Even when you think you’ve gotten somewhere, to your goal…there’s always somewhere else to aim for. Or a long way to fall backwards.
I’d thought that this time would be the one that would stick. But maybe that was my mistake, for thinking that once you start getting better, you just keep getting better. That recovery is a linear thing that just keeps going up and forward. I’m realising now that it’s not. It goes up, and down, and up again. But hopefully you come out of it alive.
Back in April I resolved to make a change, for good. To take the steps I needed to stop binge eating and recover from the eating disorder that seems to have swallowed my life and my health just as I have swallowed so much during this time. I went days binge free, chronicled each day online. I thought it would make me accountable, and it kind of did, but it wasn’t sustainable. More importantly, this approach was never going to be my road to recovery.
I got to 66 whole days binge free, and it felt really good, but was never solving the problem. I built an audience, albeit a very, very small one, and started receiving messages from people spilling out their problems, asking me how I’d done it. It felt nice, of course it did, and I so value their support and feel so good to think I might be helping them too just by showing them they’re not alone – there are so few people talking about this stuff. I even posted a blog post with my own personal best advice to beat binge eating, a post which has some good advice in, but definitely isn’t the full picture. It doesn’t properly consider the need for therapy or counselling, recovering from diet culture, or having an ED-trained dietitian to help you, which is the better way to go about beating binge eating.
With the online accountability I had built came a pressure. You get to a point where you need to just start living without thinking of a close captioned way to express it online. I was saying I was binge-free but couldn’t decide whether that was true or whether I was just giving it a different label. So, I decided to take a break, not post for a few days. And that was fine, but it was the start of a slippery slope. I didn’t necessarily binge on those days, but after a while away, posting my days again seemed impossible. I’d always wanted to get to 100 but realistically, sharing those graphics was never going to last or truly tackle my eating disorder.
If you’re a fellow binge eater reading this, I hope you don’t think less of me. I hope this piece of honesty makes you realise there’s not one road or even an easy road to recovery, and that I was never trying to present that to you. But we can overcome this, together. xx
***This post was edited in May 2018 to remove any triggering content and to try and convey my experience with eating disorders more responsibly. If you are at all affected by this post, please contact eating disorder charity Beat.***