Topic Tuesday: Recovery

“Gaining Life” (By: Hailey Z.)

Weight restoration is a crucial component of anorexia treatment. It is a challenging process for a multitude of reasons.

*Not everyone may go through this process… and that’s totally okay. In 2015, I sought out an outpatient dietician. The first few meetings were basically your routine intake/background of behaviors and life. As she was assessing my case and gathering information, she broke news to me that weight restoration had to happen and was very much going to be a part of my journey… I FREAKED out! I thought that I could totally stay at the weight I was at and still continue “living” my life — but somehow I still agreed to the restoration process anyway. I quickly realized that I was totally wrong to think that I could live in the middle, half recovered and half eating disorder still in control. I was so malnourished that I struggled to think straight, to have daily conversations, and most importantly, to have a real meaningful life. I was definitely not the most fun client at the time, but my dietician handled it with so much compassion and grace.

I was very angry, and frustrated but soon discovered that under the anger laid a lot of sadness and fear of the unknown and fear of what would happen if I REALLY surrendered to the process??? It was not an easy process by any means, but during the process I realized that I wasn’t just gaining weight, I was gaining so much more. I was gaining brain function, I was gaining energy, I was gaining happiness, I was gaining human interactions and connections, I was gaining laughter, I was gaining life! I realized that I didn’t just make myself smaller, but I made my whole world smaller.

Now being weight restored and having gained all those things, I feel nothing but gratitude to be able to have these things that seem so small to others but to me are HUGE. They are the things that I once only dreamed about, but are now my reality.

Brené Brown says it best, “I want to be in the arena. I want to be brave with my life. And when we make the choice to dare greatly, we sign up to get our a**es kicked. We can choose courage or we can choose comfort, but we can’t have both. Not at the same time.”

Realizing I had to choose between courage or comfort was (and still can be sometimes) a real culture shock.

Realizing I cannot keep one foot in recovery and one foot in my eating disorder, I had to choose… life and courage, or comfort and death. Everyday, every hour, every minute, I’m consciously having to make a choice. I’m not going to lie, some days making that decision my soul wants is hard. Some days my ego wants to take over and go back, but thinking about how much bigger my world is now with new friends, new job, going back to school (WHAT!?), I wouldn’t want to lose a single bit of what I’ve worked so hard for and have gained because of making the choice of my soul.

So, carry on warrior, your life is waiting for it to be discovered. Things may be tough, but.. SO ARE YOU.

About the Author

Hailey is a Murfreesboro native that enjoys time with friends, coffee, and watching Netflix! She is going back to school in the spring to pursue a degree in Social Work with a specialty in eating disorder treatment.