Recovery isn’t Linear

I wrote about how learning that recovery isn’t linear was one of the Top Ten Things I Learned in Treatment. I have certainly been reminded of that this week. These past couple days really.

You see, yesterday was AWFUL. Defeat. Despair. Desperation.
I used symptoms all day, and had full intentions to just keep using them. I didn’t care. I was ‘over’ this recovery thing. I had also been having a rough patch this past week. I shared how triggered I was with probable water retention I had while traveling and I shared that I was going to mechanically eat for “at least a week” before I considered symptoms as a solution, let my body do what it was supposed to do, trust my body and that it will return to my set point, blah,blah,blah. Yeah – that lasted a whopping three days. I couldn’t take it anymore. I was uncomfortable in my body, I was probably struggling with body dysmorphia (though I’m still fairly certain it was reality). I was in an unfamiliar place with different food, different people, and that combination was too much for my already anxious mind. I was away from my treatment team and friends/family. I tried to reach out, but I felt alone and ashamed of my struggle. So after trying to use my coping tools and them failing, I gave in and used symptoms.

Then came today.
Today was great. Victory. Pride. Hope.
I didn’t use symptoms today and I feel great about it.
I was really productive and felt alive.
Completely different to how I felt yesterday.

What changed? Yeah, good question. I think it is less about what changed, and more about what didn’t. Yeah I had a rough patch for about a week. But that’s the thing, it was only a week. Before treatment, rough patches were months or even years long. Yeah yesterday sucked. But it was only yesterday. Only one day. Nothing really changed from yesterday to today to make today so much better than yesterday. I’ve just worked really hard on my recovery for the past year and a half which has set me up for success when it comes to times like this. I’m definitely not proud of this week I’ve had but I am grateful that I am able to learn from my slips and that a slip is only a week long.

I’ve worked really hard on my recovery AND I’ve got a lot more hard work to do.
Today was great AND I am struggling.

Recovery isn’t a straight line. It involves ups and downs and backwards and forwards. It includes weeks like I’ve had and days like yesterday and days like today and days like tomorrow. Two steps back, one step forward. Five falls back and ten leaps forward. It’s the trajectory that is important, and friends my trajectory is pointing in the right direction.

How ’bout yours? Where is your arrow or your trajectory heading?



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