“Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life” –J.K Rowling
Destruction is something that happens. It’s beyond your control. It’s something you’re passive to. It’s something that consumes you and you can do nothing but shrink and disintegrate. You think you’re in control and that ‘you can stop whenever you want to’. You think that all the suffering will be worth it when you have reached your goal, and yet the goal posts move further and further away. One mile more and you’ll feel better. 20 less calories and you’ll have achieved something. A spoonful less of pasta and you’ll be satisfied because you think you’ve won. But who’s the real winner?
Destruction is easy. One domino and the entire row tumbles down in a chain reaction. One loose thread and the entire dress falls to pieces. One stray spark and the forest is ablaze.
Reconstruction is a whole lot harder. It is exhausting and emotional and physical. You cannot sit back and wait for the rebuilding to happen. Only you can lay those bricks one by one. Reconstruction is slow and difficult and frustrating. Rebuilding often makes you take one step forwards and two steps back. Reconstruction is not as easy as destruction, but I know one thing for certain. Reconstruction is the only way to have genuine control over your mind and body. Reconstruction is the only way to realise that your eating disorder is your enemy, not your companion. Reconstruction is the only way to bring light into your eyes, authenticity into your smile and warmth into your heart. Reconstruction is the only way to recover.
I know how daunting it is to think of the recovery journey ahead. I know how easy it is to be deceived into thinking that it’s simpler to let your eating disorder control you and destroy you. I know that realising that your eating disorder is not a trustworthy friend and that it is by no means your comfort blanket is easier said than done. I know what it’s like to have anorexia and to think that it is what defines you. I know what it’s like to not know who you are, what your likes and dislikes are and what your dreams are. I know because I am in the process of reconstruction.
I am not yet recovered but I know it’s coming. I know I will be able to go on a date with my boyfriend without intrinsic planning. I know I will be able to eat dinner with my Mum, Dad and sisters without anxiety. I know I will be able to dance like nobody’s watching and sing in the shower at the top of my lungs with joy. I know I will be able to laugh with my whole body until I get hiccups. I know I will be able to help others with my story so that someone else doesn’t have to be victimised by anorexia.
Recovery is coming. A day will come when I will smile with my eyes, not my thighs. So I have to keep rebuilding and rediscovering who I am.
And you do too. You are more than your eating disorder tries to define you as. I hope that by reading this, you have one less brick to lay in the reconstructing process. Keep rebuilding because reconstruction and destruction have one fundamental difference. Recovery is an unmoving goal post. Recovery is not impossible. Satisfaction through your eating disorder is. Choose to reconstruct and rebuild. Choose recovery.