Sunday, January 19, 2014

If I Lose Myself

** Yes, I did name this post after the OneRepublic song. Like I said, I love music now. **

It’s hard when you lose someone you’ve known for years. There is a hole that is left behind, and life takes on a surreal quality until you come to terms with the fact that they are never coming back, and you get used to a routine that doesn’t include them anymore.

Which I think is the crux of the recovery process. Once you’ve gotten over the food and come to terms with gaining weight and your life doesn’t revolve around exercise or numbers or meals anymore -- then what?

Yes, losing someone is hard, and losing yourself is harder.

When I went back north in September, my sister said recovery must be like getting my life back. I said no without even stopping to think about it.

It’s not the same at all. I lost myself, the person I was before any of this started, and I will never get that back. I know that. Especially for me, as someone who never really “grew up,” it was like emerging into a tornado and I didn’t know which way was up.

I think some of us go into recovery expecting “to get the old me back.” I’ve realized that it just isn’t true, at least not for me. I’m not going to be the same. And that’s OK. It is a growing process. No one is the same as a grown adult than they were as a child. The things I have been through have changed me.

I’ve felt that hopeless “I have no idea who I am, what am I going to do, what is my life?” in recovery. I’ve wanted countless times to be that girl who didn’t care what food went in her mouth again. But it’s not going to happen. My life now is different and it always will be. But that doesn’t mean it will be bad. I have fond memories of that time, but I’ve realized that I don’t want to be that girl again because that girl fell into ED’s trap.

So, we are different, but that doesn’t mean we have to be alien. We are just versions of ourselves who have seen the worst of the world, and we will carry that knowledge with us forever. It doesn’t have to bring us down; in fact, it should hold us up, because we are better for it.

For every person who walks out of your life, someone else walks in. They are never exactly the same. But after a time, you notice that the hole is filled.
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