What they don’t tell you about recovery and what you have to tell yourself.
If you’re on the path to recovery, you’re bound to hear a lot of different perspectives. There’s the opinion of your doctors, therapists, psychiatrist, parents, friends, teachers — all of it. And then there’s you: your opinion, your belief, ultimately, that recovery is real or fiction.
Here’s where I’m coming from: I’m not a doctor, not a therapist. Instead, I’ve been there, done that. And now, miraculously, I’m recovered, fully. I’ve recovered so much I think a new name for the process and where I am now is in order — because I’m not in recovery any more, I’m dead, done, better-recovered. And you can get there too.
Of course there’s a catch. I believe that that in order to recover fully you’re going to have to believe in miracles, you’re going to have to believe (because, really, it’s true!) that where you are today doesn’t have to be where you are tomorrow. That you can, in essence, recover all that and more.
Of course something so awesome doesn’t come easily.
First, you gotta’ believe in those miracles, girl. And, second, (I know you are doing the work), but you have to keep on doing it. You cannot afford to live in denial, to sink or swim depending on whether you’ve had a good day in your recovery or a bad day. Each and every day… you have to put in the enormous amount of work, and you’ve got to keep up with the work, every single day, until you find yourself here — in the miracle stage, where recovery is final and, finally, through.
Now please don’t tell me you’re too sick or too far gone to achieve the kind of recovery that some people have. Please don’t tell me I’m lucky (— seriously, have you read Best Body Memoir or heard me talk about my childhood in a Best Body Talk?). You can get there too. You can recover, too.
I’ve seen the absolute sickest of us (myself included) make themselves whole again. And I’ve seen patients who missed out on coming clean with themselves about their disorder lose their lives. Like, literally, be buried in the ground or burned into ashes before they turned twenty. (Not to mention the dead and walking state that is an eating disorder pre-treatment or during relapse.)
Fun thing about eating disorders is you can’t deny the very, very likely potential outcome. You can’t deny that you could die from this. And soon.
No you’re not special (sorry😢 !), no you don’t have your eating disorder under control, unlike other people — no, you’re not one of those lucky(/non existent) few who can somehow bypass the total danger that is anorexia, bulimia, EDNOS — all of that.
It will catch up with you, an eating disorder. And fast.
So here’s how you do it. You work towards recovery. Every single day. And you learn to be real with yourself and the fact that you could die from this, and soon.
And then — hey, girl! — one day you wake up and it’s not even recovery anymore. It’s not even fully recovered. One day you wake up and all that struggling is over. You still have the memories, the remnants of trauma, the personality, genes — what have you. But now you have the skillset, the grit, the total determination and mind-reboot that all but guarantees that you won’t go down that deadly path again.
It’s oh so worth it. And you can do it, you totally can.
On that note… Is it new word for recovered-time? Because while recovery is up and down and crazy hard and relapses are real and you have to keep on fighting …. being recovered, totally, as in all done with the disorder(s), it’s amazing.
Deal with your demons and they be gone. I promise.
—Jordan Lee Knape.
PS GIRLS! Want me to speak at your treatment center or school? There is so, so much more to say about recovery, what it looks like, how to make it happen. Never forget a “totally recovered and over it” state is real — and you can get there. In the meantime, bring me to your place of treatment/worship and let’s do a Q&A, K?