Sometimes I open up Recovery Record and stare at the day or previous days and wonder what kind of person puts themselves through hell, on purpose, most days.

Sometimes I reread what I’ve written here. The further back in time I go the more depressing it is as it becomes evident how arduous and relentless the struggle is.

Sometimes I read all the drafts I started and saved but didn’t finish or publish because I was afraid or because I didn’t have enough energy to think and couldn’t get anything else out after a sentence or two. Those one- or two- unpublished liners are sorry truths I couldn’t bring myself to expand on.

I have to keep reminding myself to meet myself where I am. That’s what everyone else is doing. It appears I am the only one ever frustrated with my progress.

It crossed my mind that this process doesn’t require constant suffering. As in, I can smile. I’m allowed to be crushingly sad and still laugh at a joke. I’m allowed to enjoy what I’m eating. If I’m committed to recovery (I am), this means eating much more than I’m comfortable with but every bite doesn’t have to be torture and regret-filled.

I used to love baking but I’ve been so afraid of it — terrified of binging on whatever I made–that I haven’t done it much. What a fun activity to do with my kids that the eating disorder took away.

It’s like my eating disorder won’t allow me to admit that food even tastes good. If it does, it’s wrong because I’ll eat too much of it.

I want to smile, laugh, feel joy and be at peace.

I don’t want to keep waging war against myself.

I can continue to cry before, during, and after meals. I can continue to feel shit and do it anyway. I can continue to be so afraid, and trust in the process.

I am capable of fighting back.

And I can feel happy that I’m fighting. It doesn’t mean it’s easy or over or not frustrating and sad.

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