Why is today different? Why is now the time of change, as opposed to any other time you’ve tried to recover?
For me, I knew I couldn’t do it anymore. My mouth was chewed up from vomit. I was lethargic, nosing through the day with my head down and feet shuffling. If there was food at a party, the party was ruined; I’d obsess about how I could get more more more or how I could eat nothing without anyone catching onto my game. My relationships were buckling under the weight of secrets. I was stuck in my head. I was miserable. And I was one year away from college. The support and boundaries my family had offered were about to disappear. So I would either end up killing myself with my eating habits, or I had to come clean and learn to live immediately. I was willing to do what it took. If that meant forgiving myself, fine. Giving up bingeing? Sure. Letting myself make mistakes? I was on it.
Are you? Only you can make that choice. Only you can say, there’s no going back, I will be the freest creature under the sun.
Write out a quick list of challenges you have been successful at before. Maybe you graduated a year early, maybe you finished a 10K race, maybe you wrote a poem, maybe you were accepted into that internship, or maybe you passed that awful math final. How did you overcome the obstacles in your way? If you’ve never been successful at anything, not even pouring yourself a glass of water without spilling down your front, don’t use this as an excuse to moan. Use this as a chance to prove you can be successful at something huge. Recovery is a feat of wonder. Once you’ve got recovery under your belt, even glasses of water won’t stand in your way.
Today is different. Today, you have the power to decide never to go back to your eating disorder. You’ll relapse, struggle, sure. But you won’t belong to it anymore.
Make a quick short-term goal. It could be rebutting all negative thoughts for an hour. It could be refusing to binge for a week. Whatever you choose, make a note of it in your recovery notebook and celebrate if you succeed. If you fail, make a smaller goal and try again.
You can do this. I can do this. We’ll prove to ourselves and the world that today is different. And we will never go back.