Words are a powerful thing. They can help raise someone up to their highest potential or they can tear someone to six feet under. Sometimes the words we use are intentional, while at other times we don’t realize they can be a powerful trigger and cause negative feelings and thoughts to surface. For those who have been through treatment we have been taught to release the noose type grip we allow words to have over us and to find healthier and more positive words or affirmations to replace them with. We have spent years beating ourselves up and convincing our minds that we are not worthy, not lovable, not thin enough and not good enough; so, this re-programming process takes time and patience. Habits are hard to break, and even though we may take positive steps forward that little gremlin inside of us is always looming close ready to catch us at a vulnerable moment and swallow us whole again.
Recovery is a never-ending process that takes work each and every day. Because of what we have endured, we are now forever changed and the world is no longer just black and white, but every color in between. We are not broken. We are unique, and because of this uniqueness we feel more deeply, see things most people would overlook and have an appreciation for life that allows us to be thankful for every day we get to open our eyes.
I don’t believe that I am recovered or will ever be recovered. Because to me, to be recovereD (with a hard D) means that I will never again have to worry about being triggered by myself, someone or something that causes me to turn inwards and tear myself into a million pieces. That I will never lose control of my emotions again and use food as a tool to cope and stuff myself until I want to puke but won’t because I think I deserve to sit with my self inflicted pain like an old friend. That I won’t ever look at myself in the mirror again and hate what I see and convince myself that I am not good enough, so the only way to be good enough is if I’m at a certain size…a size I will never achieve.
RecovereD is final. RecovereD means no more worries or fears or anxiety over the what if. To me, recovereD means our work here is done, but the work is never done. Everyday we are faced with new challenges or situations that will test us and force us to keep practicing the tools we have been taught, all the while continuing to learn more about ourselves and realizing the unconditional love we deserve. The addiction never leaves you, but instead lives inside you as a constant reminder of your struggles. It resides right next to the strength you have gained through your fight and the compassion you have grown to know you deserve.
I don’t believe one word should be allowed to hold so much power over us and cause us to feel less than the person next to us who might be “recovered for 5 years,” while you just had a lapse a few weeks ago. We have already spent a lifetime comparing ourselves to others so why do we allow ourselves to keep doing this in recovery? Words no longer should control you and your life, but should instead inspire you and connect you with all those who are also working toward the same goal, which is to live a happy, full and healthy life.
In any AA meeting you attend, they always speak of their recovery in terms of days and they even give you a chip at every milestone. No one is better than the person next to them and no one’s recovery is more final and complete than the others. Everyone is equal and no one feels the pressure or shame if they had a relapse the night before because they know it is a natural part of going through the recovery process. You will fall and you will mess up, but at the end of the day as long as you keep showing up I believe you are successful. You chose to fight another day and you chose to not hide away in your shame because you are no longer recovereD.
I challenge everyone to rethink what they’ve been told about being recovered, and should instead look at it in terms of a never-ending story. With each new day being an opportunity to learn more about yourself and see just how strong and brave you truly are. You got up, showed up and chose to believe that this is not how your life is supposed to go. You chose to release the power behind a word and instead, chose to acknowledge that you are perfectly imperfect and your battle scars are the strength you need to keep fighting another day. You are a soldier fighting the battle that lives within you and the only person who can subdue it is you. So believe in your strength, believe in your worth and release the power behind the word.
My name is Victoria and I am recovering from a battle with anorexia and binge eating.
Today I am 8 years STRONG from my anorexia and I am 6 months STRONG from binge eating.
The battle lives within me but it will not destroy me.
This blog post was written by Victoria