Today’s post is extra special as it features some wise words from the lovely Lucy who, if you’re a relatively new follower you might not know but she’s actually the co-founder of Recover Your Life Back – we met in hospital in 2014 and have been friends since.
Lucy wanted to talk today* something I think is a really important – how it’s okay to still be upset and find things triggering even if you consider yourself recovered from your eating disorder and so on that note – take it away!
*actually she wanted to talk about it over a month ago but I have a memory like a sieve at the minute and completely forgot until this week… (Sorry!)
“I can now say that I am fully recovered from Anorexia which is amazing, but I would like to address a misconception that comes along with this.
What prompted me to write about this misconception is something that happened to me yesterday. I saw a friend from my old hospital who I met nearly 4 years ago and I saw that she wasn’t doing too well; she was struggling really badly with her eating disorder. Seeing someone else stuck in a way that once affected me so badly acted as a trigger and made me think about my own past experiences. I felt embarrassed, guilty and like a fake for it affecting me. Why should seeing someone who’s ill upset me when I’m not struggling anymore?
It is a common belief that if you’re recovered then you’re not allowed to struggle, but this is simply not true. People without mental illness get upset by things they see, how they look, and how they think others perceive them; it’s totally normal!
I just wanted to write this as a reminder that having down days does not make you a fake or a failure or your progress invalid. You should be proud of all you’ve accomplished and continue to live life to the full.”
Lucy is completely right, you should never be made to feel guilty for not struggling – mental illnesses, especially eating disorders, can be incredibly competitive but in those moments it’s important to ask yourself what exactly you’re competing against. You might think that the answer to that is another person but in actuality it’s another illness. An illness that wants you to get worse and not so that you feel better in yourself, no. An illness that wants you dead. I know that that sounds incredibly melodramatic but it’s the truth.
So in those moments when you feel that competitive voice pipe up, for starters you can tell it to F*CK RIGHT OFF, but then you should remind yourself that we’re all only human and so things will upset us from time to time, it’s inevitable unfortunately. And that may cause you to doubt thing but that in no way takes away from the fact that you’ve done amazingly to get to where you are. And it also doesn’t mean that you’re not allowed to take steps backwards every now and then – just as long as you pick yourself back up again in the end.
Lots of love,
Anna & Lucy x