I have mixed feelings going into this new year.
I think because it’s not just a new year but a new decade, and the year I turn 30 – it feels somehow more significant. In some ways, I have a lot of disappointments. If you’d have told me before that I was dragging an eating disorder into the third decade of my life I wouldn’t have believed you, and honestly I am really sad that that’s what has happened. With that said, the fact that it is a new era as it were, I feel more motivated than ever to change.
The fact that I started treatment in 2019 for some reason feels important, like I am starting 2020 in recovery, not in relapse. True, I am in the very early stages of that process, but I’ve started this decade off on the right foot. I’m heading in the right direction.
I’m not normally a fan of New Years resolutions, I think they are too high pressure, can be difficult to fulfil and often have some sort of infuriating connection to diet culture in some way. But I consider this a year of change for me, and I want to capitalise on that. In a lot of ways I consider the turning of the new year arbitrary, and I think that if you want to make changes to your life you shouldn’t have to wait for a special date. But as I started treatment only a couple of weeks ago, this feels like a good time to start making those changes. Although my brain is a 24/7 calorie counter, since the day I started treatment I’ve not once used my calorie counting app. I’ve cut my compulsive exercise right down to basically nothing. I’ve been following my meal plans almost to the letter, and committed myself to recovery. In 2020, I am dedicated to ending my other compensatory behaviours and giving over my scales to my boyfriend. I get weighed twice a week at the clinic as it is, and their scales are different to mine anyway. All it does it cause me more anxiety than is necessary and I need to detach myself from that number.
I don’t want to go into the new year saying I’ll be a new person, because there are a lot of parts of myself that I like. I like my determination, my independence and my creativity. I like that I am hard working, caring and brave. I don’t want to be a new me, I want the old me back. Yes, there will be lessons I’ll learn along this recovery journey I’m on, but I don’t want to come out of it somebody new. I want to be me, but even stronger, even braver, even more determined.
So, tomorrow it’s 2020. A new year and a new decade. But I’m going into it as the person I want to be.
Cara. A work in progress.