So how is it that ED still haunts someone daily who considers their self to be recovered?
For someone who has recovered, ED will probably be that ex-boyfriend who you always wondered about… the ex who you sometimes think “what if I hadn’t broken up with him? What if we stayed together? Would we be married?”. ED is the shitty boyfriend who you still fantasize about. And then when you see his picture on social media you think, “EW! Did I seriously date that ?”
ED haunting me, will probably be with me the rest of my life. A lot of it derives from self esteem. The thought “I am not pretty enough” “I am not stylish enough”, “I am not smart enough” is then followed by “I may not be those things… so I will just be skinny enough”. Yes, I am 30 years old and still think that at times. The difference between 15 year old me and 30 year old me, is that I know now that losing weight will still not make me feel “good enough”. The 30 year old me knows that your friends and family don’t give a shit about your excess of 5 pounds, they don’t care that you don’t wear designer brands, they don’t care that you don’t have an important job. They care that you are a kind person, they care that you are dependable, etc. That knowledge, that maturity, that you only gain with age, is what stops me from being the 15 year old Robin and starving herself.
The other main difference between 15 year old me and 30 year old me, is that I do not base my day around exercise. I do plan when to workout for either the day or week, but I do not stress about it. Like today I was not able to exercise because I was at work all day and then went and got a wax. In the past, I would never have scheduled a wax if I had yet to exercise for the day, or I would have got up early to exercise before work. My husband knows that when I say I am going to cycling after work, 5/10 times I most likely will just come home and skip the class.
The internal struggle that surrounds me and ED has diminished over the years. So even though I still struggle with bingeing and guilt surrounding food or lack of exercise, the amount of pressure that I feel from ED is much smaller. There are times that I get really down on myself because I feel that 15 years later, I should be further than I am. I feel that I should be totally “normal” and not feel these things. But I also know that these feelings are feelings that most women feel, regardless if they have had an eating disorder. These are feelings that are very common for all people- this lack of self -worth. I just happen to have this extra nuisance named ED. 15 years later I may not be where I want to be mentally in terms of ED, but I know that I have come far in terms of my health and what I do with these thoughts.
I am still learning daily to love myself and also to not take myself so seriously. ED may still haunt me, but he does not control me. He does not own me. And because of that, I think the 15 year old me would be proud of the 30 year old me.