If you're reading this you're probably already considering recovery. I don't need to explain what's bad about having an eating disorder - you already know that and have experienced it, whether or not you've admitted it to yourself. And knowing that, as well as the fact that the opposite of a disordered lifestyle is a healthy one, you can easily get an idea of what a healthy life would be and what your ideal recovery would be like. How to make the decision is the difficult part.

I'm not writing this to convince you to recover. I'm not your worried parent or concerned teacher. If anything I'm an experienced friend, watching you tumble through the same delusion I broke free from. I will tell you what I've done and what I've learned, but what you ultimately choose to do is in no one's hands but your own. You will choose what you believe is in your best interest, which I did, and for so long believed that recovery was out of the question.

I teetered between "yeah, my eating disorder is pretty bad, but it's really good sometimes too," and "yeah, my eating disorder is mostly bad, and I need to do something about it," for quite a while; probably about half the time I spent being disordered I also spent debating recovery. A lot of my thoughts about recovery were inhibited from evolution by the thought that "one can never really recover."

I believed I would be haunted by self-hate and the need to approach that problem through eating behaviors forever, and there was no way I could maintain "normal" eating - I didn't even believe there was such a thing.

What I've come to realize is that I had very narrow definitions of both "recovery" and "normal." Recovery seemed stupid and impossible - I spent so much of my time thinking about my weight, what I ate, etc. I didn't think not caring about eating was possible. I thought that being normal and recovering from an eating disorder meant not caring about what I ate, not losing weight, and not being who I wanted to be - someone who outwardly appears thin, i.e. perfect. What I now know is that being normal, rather than disordered, doesn't mean not caring about what I eat or my weight or health. Being normal and healthy means being thoughtful about what I'm doing to my body. It means not harming my body as a response to what's going on in my mind or outside of myself.

I am currently recovering; I hesitate to say "recovered" because I think a good amount of time spent maintaining health is required to consider oneself recovered. I am recovering, I am exercising daily, I am planning on losing some weight gradually. I don't think about my weight constantly (e.g. "that person doesn't respect me because I'm fat") and I don't feel uncomfortable eating in front of people, or eating, period.

I want to share my thoughts, to show you how I changed my mindset from one that convinced me I was protecting myself and in pursuit of perfection through harming, isolating and losing myself to a mindset in which I let myself live freely, acknowledging and confronting new emotions and situations with confidence and interest rather than fear and hesitation.

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