Are You Waiting to be Fearless in Your ED Recovery?
June 25, 2016
A few days ago I read an incredible post online that took me right back to a place in my eating disorder where I felt lost, hopeless and sick and tired of being sick and tired. It was the moment right before I hit rock bottom and reentered inpatient treatment. I was never able to put into words just exactly how it felt being in that dark place but if I could name one overriding emotion I was engulfed in every day, it would have to be fear. I desperately wanted to get better and I even knew what I needed to do to get better but I was too incredibly scared to do it. My life was at a stand still and I was frozen in fear. I wanted to get better but I couldn’t. Fear was keeping me paralyzed and I was stuck playing a losing waiting game.
I told myself I would start following through with my meal plans and other orders from my doctors once I wasn’t so scared because right now it was just too hard to deal with the fear. I told my doctors I was trying my best but secretly I was just waiting for the fear to subside because I thought for sure, one day it would. I thought one morning I would wake up and say, “today’s the day!” and instead of backing down and succumbing to my fear as the day went on, the fear would be gone forever and I would finally take the first steps toward recovery.
The thing is, that day never came.
It was scary every single day and no matter how many people told me I had nothing to be afraid of or how irrational my thinking was, or how I could never become as fat as I feared I would, the fear never disappeared. I was waiting to be fearless and I might as well have been waiting to win the lottery (which I probably would have had better luck with anyways).
The problem with waiting to be fearless in eating disorder recovery is that being fearless never comes through waiting.
As much as I wished I would wake up one fateful morning and my fear would have vanished like a bad dream, it never happened that way. Fear does not go away magically on it’s own like a bad cold you just have to ride out until one morning it is just gone. The only way you stop being afraid is by taking action and by taking action I mean do the thing you are scared to do.
There was a quote I saw online a few weeks ago that said “Sometimes you have to do it scared” and I would argue that ALL the time you have to do it scared.
Every single step in eating disorder recovery is scary
and there really is no way around it.
So how does one take action and actually do the things that are so scary? How do you follow through with a meal plan when you truly believe the fear will kill you? How do you stop counting calories, going on secret binges, hiding food, keeping secrets from doctors, or weighing yourself? Well, if I had the single magic answer I wouldn’t be sitting here in my kitchen writing this. I would be traveling the world ridding the world of eating disorders. The thing is, it’s different for everyone. Finding courage to take action despite overwhelming fear is different for everyone. Ask 100 people in recovery what it was that gave them the courage to recover and you will get 100 different answers. However, there is one overriding theme in every single story of recovery. Their courage didn’t come from some external circumstance being just right, or an ultimatum from a parent, a threat or increased love from a significant other. The courage came from within. Just like Dorothy discovers at the end of her journey through OZ that she had the power all the long to go home, you too have had the power all the long to recover and that power is inside you right now. You just might now see it yet but I would love to help you discover it.
We cannot not control whether or not we develop an eating disorder but we can choose recovery even if that choice has to happen every single day (and believe me, it does).
So now that you know waiting to be fearless is a losing game, what action will you take now? Today? Shoot me an email and let me. I would love to hear from you!
And if you're ready to take that next scary step in recovery and want some authentic accountability from someone that's been there, CLICK HERE to schedule a free one-on-one discovery call. I promise, I don't bite.
Discover the courage you already have within you and don’t forget to trust your body and follow your heart.