There’s a saying: your worst days in recovery are better than your best days with an eating disorder.
I wish that were true, but it’s a little idealistic. I like the sentiment of it. The message is designed to be motivational, and it is. The take home is that no matter how hard recovery is, being ill or relapsing is worse.
But for those of us who have relapsed, sometimes over and over again, that isn’t always strictly true. Because if all you’ve known for many years is being ill, that is your baseline. It is where you feel comfortable. It is who you are.
Sometimes, being unwell feels like somewhere familiar, where you know yourself. You feel in control in the zone of anorexia. You know what to expect. Often the days roll into one and you tick along as you are, living the kind of half life that illness allows. Your best days, deep in being unwell, still might just feel ‘fine’, because your symptoms are all you have come to expect. You might not be truly living, but you are existing. It’s Groundhog Day.
The worst days in recovery however, can be torturous. You’re battling demons that you have been ignoring for a long time, maybe months, maybe years. You’re forcing yourself out of your comfort zone and it can sometimes feel like it’s so difficult that it’s not worth it. You’d rather be ill than spend another day trying to force yourself not to be.
I can categorically say that pushing through those challenging days is 100% worth it. No matter how horrible they feel at the time, that pain will subside as the days and weeks and month pass.
I don’t agree that your worst days in recovery are better than your best days with an eating disorder. I do think however, that your best days in recovery are better than any day you can possibly imagine when unwell.
Recovery is possible and it is worth it – no matter how unachievable it feels, you are worthy of getting better.