Cherice Fischer is a former client of The Emily Program who has successfully stayed in recovery for one year and one month. She is also a mom, wife, full-time employee, church and book club attendee, crafter, CrossFit athlete, and a chicken momma who lives a love first, think later life.
Recovery is unimaginable at first. It is an elusive concept that happens to others, not to us. Recovery seems like wishful thinking. And for some recovery doesn’t even seem possible.
Recovery is challenging as you begin to enter it. It still seems unreal, but for a few moments a day/hour/minute it is do-able. Recovery is a shift in thinking, perspective, and actions. And it is the hardest thing I have ever done. Ever.
Recovery is coming to terms with swimming up-stream as you realize what the culture is really like, now that you see it through your (mostly) non-ED eyes. It is the painfully isolating discovery that most people not only don’t think the way you do but aren’t open to the ideas that hold you in recovery.
Recovery is clinging to the few people in your world that either understand (due to their own ED) or kind of understand due to you sharing information or they themselves being in recovery of another sort (addiction, etc.).
Recovery is cruel and enlightening. It is freedom and torture. It is light and dark. It is negative and positive. All at once. All the time. Recovery is exhausting.
Recovery is wondering, is this worth it? Recovery is knowing it is, but still wanting to give up. Recovery is recognizing ED’s voice and being in that middle place where you know it is wrong but it still feels familiar enough that it is dysfunctionally comforting.
Recovery is knowing that you need to accept yourself in order to buy freedom. Recovery is knowing that when you accept yourself, most others unknowingly still will not. Recovery is teaching yourself that comparison steals joy. Recovery is fighting the urge to scream SHUT UP to every person who talks about diets and calories and macros and clean eating and weight loss and summer bodies and being “fat” and being unhealthy and being worthy of the food they eat and working out because you need to.
Recovery is praying for help to carry this burden. Recovery is learning to quiet EDs angry voice and listen to God’s accepting voice instead. Recovery is finding your home within your friend group, with the people that know about your innermost secrets and still love you.
Recovery is accepting that you may never get to the point that weighing less than you do now is an option. Recovery is learning that intuitive eating is not necessarily going to result in weight loss. Recovery is learning that being in recovery may also mean that you weigh more than you want to or more than others think you should. Recovery is listening to others around you talk about how fat they are and tuning them out. Recovery is learning to not hear conversations so that you don’t get sucked in.
Recovery is progress. Micro progress. Or slipping backward and starting again. Or making great leaps forward. Or being stuck. Recovery is not allowing yourself to let ED win. Even if only one minute at a time.
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