So, I'm being asked this question more and more often these days. My daily life basically revolves around communication with those who are suffering with an eating disorder, in recovery, and researching articles and situations in society that involve or relate to eating disorders. How do I do it?
The question is not how I DO it, but how am I able to walk, talk, write and read about eating disorders almost 24/7 and not be triggered?
Even a year and a half ago I probably couldn't have. The groundwork started being laid many years ago, maybe before I even realized it.
Being a caretaker at heart, then becoming a nurse, was like water and fertilizer to that invisible seed. I naturally want to help, provide answers, education and support to those who are suffering. But I never could envision that I could be instrumental in the area of eating disorders until I knew I was REALLY going to recover. I knew that even before it happened. I knew I would recover when I was told it was possible. I knew I would recover when a professional looked me in the eye and told me it could happen. Because at that time, at age 45, I knew I had survived to that point for some reason. Had I not been a fighter, a survivor, I would have succumbed to my disorder by that time.
How do I do it?
My body and brain are now well fed. Therefore, my thoughts about eating and food are not irrational or distorted. I don't adhere to my own (or anyone else's) established 'food religion' anymore. My emotional state is not linked to how I feed myself.
I am not triggered because those old thought patterns are no longer deep ruts in my brain matter. They have been filled in with FOOD and a lot of self-respect and acceptance.
The 'things' that use to be triggering for me are no longer because I am no longer looking for validation from external forces or by proving myself. I now have the tools I need to survive. I am not on a search for the unknown any longer.
Does this mean my life is perfect? Not at all. What is perfect?
But it does mean that I know that whatever happens in my life I will survive. I have tools and people in my life who I know will be there for me. I know I am not alone with anything that may happen. I have chosen not to life a solitary lonely life.
I am not perfect. I make mistakes. What a relief to not have to live up to someone else's 'expectations'.....the beauty of not having an eating disorder anymore!!
That's how I do it...........