Topic Tuesday: Recovery

“Finding Reality” (By: Hailey Zahurones)

In my 5 months oHailey Zf being in recovery I have realized… Recovery is possible, but in the last few weeks I have realized that recovery WILL NOT be perfect. People would always tell me I was a perfectionist. I seemed to disagree with them and said, ” No I’m not, that’s ridiculous” until I went into my therapy appointment and told her the expectations I had. Once they came out of my mouth, I realized the eating disorder was working without me even knowing it. My eating disorder was capable of allowing me to set high expectations and think they were “real.” But guess what? They weren’t.

Now, out of treatment, I get comments all the time of, “You’re out of treatment so you’re all better!”  or “You’re cured!” and when people started telling me I was healed and over the eating disorder, I felt I had an expectation to uphold, that I can no longer struggle and had to have a “perfect recovery”. This is an expectation I know so many go through. So one day, I sat on the porch watching the sunset with my journal and tried to think of what the “perfect recovery” looked like, and I couldn’t think of one thing. I know for me, having an eating disorder has brought out the true strength I have found deep within myself. I know if there was a perfect recovery there wouldn’t have been downfalls that I needed strength for.  Our imperfections make us beautiful, we need to fully embrace those imperfections and take them as they come and not drown ourselves in unrealistic expectations.

Society has played a major part in the everything needs to be perfect game but let me tell you, perfection is not real.  So, when you are questioning to allow yourself to struggle, let yourself struggle instead of acting like everything is okay. An eating disorder is not an easy thing to fight and it doesn’t take just a few months in a treatment center. Unlike a drug addict or alcoholic we can’t just take away the substance. We need food to live.  We can allow ourselves to fall, but it’s all about how you pick yourself up that matters.

About the Author

Hailey is a 21 year old preschool teacher from Murfreesboro. She was in treatment at Focus Treatment Center in Chattanooga and The Renfrew Center of Nashville. Hailey has struggled with anorexia since she was 13 years old and plans to go back to college in the future to major in Psychology specializing in Eating Disorders.