I am going to have a Father’s Day post later this week (I’m rounding things up) but today I want to talk about something different.
As most of you who read my blog regularly or who know me in person know I will be restarting college (as a junior – yay!) this fall. This has been causing round-and-round debates in therapy all centered on one topic. And that topic is committing absolutely to recovery (from my eating disorder and all self-harming behaviors). Beth is convinced that it is time for me to make the committtment 100% to recovery. I’m arguing that I’m not ready for that step.
It’s a leap, you see. A big leap. A leap from my place on the upper part of the recovery stairwell to the landing. And when I say I’m not ready I’m not talk about willingness or giving into relapse. I just am not at a point where I can say “goodbye eating disorder, goodbye all other poor coping skills, see you never”. I’m not saying that I am going to relapse or suddenly start using behaviors but to completely commit to a life free of symptoms I just….can’t right now.
You see knowing I have my behaviors/disorders on the back-burner gives me comfort, a knowledge that there is something that I am good at (because as sick as this sounds I know I am good at being anorexic), confidence to move forward knowing that I can always bail out mentally (but stick around physically), comfort that all though everything around me is changing I still have the inner ability to “stop time”. Rereading that it all sounds very disordered and sick. And I comtemplated deleting it but I’m going to leave it there. It’s all truth. I may not be choosing to act on behvioars (and I have absolutely NO plans to relapse or start behaviors) but to say I’m never going back? I can’t. I want to. But I can’t. So I’m living in that in-between land. The land where I’m not giving it up but not giving in either.
And somehow I’ve convinced myself I can have it all. I may be living in that grey land (Marya Hornbacher reference) but as long as I’m not acting on behaviors I can have the benefits of a real life too. I can live in the present, interact with others, go to school and enjoy my life.
Beth says that’s not possible but I think that it is. I’m not giving up ground on that elusive recovery staircase – I’m just not leaping either. I’m keeping my security blanket around but not planning to sleep with it so to say (took that metaphor too far?). Am I leaving myself vunerable but when I might not need to be? Maybe. But to think about committing to recovery for the rest of my life makes my chest tighten and panic start to mount. This tells me that I’m not ready. I will be someday but as I write this it’s not now. It’s not today.