10 Years in Recovery With a Decade of Hope
Ten years ago is when I began to find the real me. Ten years ago, I discharged from six months of inpatient treatment and started my recovery. And today, I find myself in a state of shock and extreme gratefulness. I say “shock” because I could not imagine year 10 in my recovery when I left the building of the Eating Recovery Center in 2010; thinking of day one was hard much less 10 years.
I am grateful for the treatment I received as well as the wonderful human beings who have walked this path with me — the ones who saw me at my worst and at my best. I remember the night I fell apart and gained something beautiful. That night I gained me — the real me, not the sick me. I found my inner child and held her gently. I felt my feelings and yes, they did come all at once for me.
In that moment, I was unable to stop the tears and the pain exploding in my chest. These feelings were bursting out. It was time. So I sat and felt it all, and someone I look up to deeply sat with me and let me fall apart; she sat as I found my breath. As I sat up, I realized the heaviness I had been carrying for so many years was lifted. I began to feel free. The best part was that person saw me at my worst, saw me fall apart, watched as I found myself, and then was able to see me start my recovery. And years later, she was able to see me continue my recovery.
I wanted recovery and I wanted to get better. I did not know how, but I wanted it. Falling apart was painfully beautiful, and I am grateful for the person who sat with me, my inpatient treatment team, my outpatient treatment team, and the rest of the people who walked beside me.
Falling apart, opening up, feeling, talking, sharing, and trusting is a huge part of how I have maintained my recovery. Connection and honesty have been another part of this as well.
These are the thoughts and memories that are brought up as I reflect on my treatment and the last 10 years of my recovery. It was not easy; I still have hard days, but I was born stubborn and I have made that stubbornness into something better. Being stubborn is what has helped me become a fighter, because I refuse to give in, and I refuse to give up. The eating disorder has no place because I will not give into the thoughts; I will not give up.
I hope in some way that those who are curious about recovery, who are questioning if recovery is real, who are scared that they will not be able to stay in recovery can see that it is real. Because recovery is real. I am doing it. I have been doing it. And I hope in some way this gives you a little hope.
You are worth it. You are worthy. And please do not forget that you’re never alone.