Just yesterday, I had the thought to myself, “Can’t I just be over this crap?!” Even though I consider myself well down the path of recovery, sometimes my old ways of thinking and acting with food and my body just creep back in.
When I was really struggling with my relationship with food and my body, I would constantly be berating myself while simultaneously asking the universe: “Why does this have to be so hard? Can’t I struggle with something else? Please—whoever/whatever is out there, just let this be over…when is it going to end?” Unfortunately, it’s not that simple, and I have come to realize that it doesn’t just come to a miraculous halt all of a sudden (not to say there is no hope for recovery—there is!). Our relationship with food and our bodies can be incredibly complex and complicated, so when trying to “figure it all out”, patience (and addressing it) is key.
One thing that has been helpful for me when I am being really hard on myself not just about food or my body, but about the whole idea that I even struggle with this stuff, is that everyone has their “thing.” Everyone, even if they never talk about it, or show signs of it, has some issue that they struggle within themselves (or their daily lives) and I just so happened to have to deal with this [insert whatever it is that you deal with here]. It doesn’t define me and as much as it at times can feel like it’s taking over my life, it isn’t my whole life or the whole me. Remembering this is really important for me, especially when I get discouraged or fall back into unhealthy thoughts or habits.
As painful and difficult as it sometimes is, dealing with food and body issues teaches me something new about myself all the time and I often think that compared to a lot of things I could be struggling with, maybe it’s not the worst thing in the universe (hard to believe, but just think about it!). It’s really how I react to the situation presented to me that makes the difference. I am in control with how I deal with it, educate myself about it and how I go about coping with it and that alone can be somewhat empowering. By looking at it with this perspective, it makes me feel a little less alone (we’re all dealing with something) and allows me to be a little bit gentler with myself—yelling at myself about the things I have trouble with only compounds the issue! Do you ever have feelings like this?