This is a season. All seasons pass.

The sun is shining and I have brand-new running socks. I’ve lost track of the last time I ran but more than 7 days passed with no runs to log. My feet hit the pavement and I immediately remember a run I had last year around this time where I set out to run a couple miles but went 10. I felt so good that day. I feel good on this day, and think, maybe this run will turn into 10 miles, too!

No, I thought, running has seasons, and the season I’m in right now is recovery. 10 is too much right now, and that’s ok. I get to make up the seasons now, unlike the 9-year chunk of my life when the seasons followed the school calendar. Where I went wrong before, was that I thought I could be in the competitive season all the time. No breaks. No recovery. No build-up or easy seasons. The consequence of that is a long, undetermined recovery season. It isn’t mapped out anywhere, it doesn’t follow a calendar, and each season is determined by my body, guided by my own process and my team.

I was reminded on that run that moving this way lifts my spirit. It ignites something within me that brings freedom. I do love running, when Anorexia isn’t my running buddy.

I hate that Anorexia grew roots in every single part of my life. It left nothing untouched and it’s painstaking to destroy. And while I’m here in this complicated, difficult season of recovery I am sitting with a constant stream of sadness, tears that won’t stop coming, and a feeling of loneliness that is hard to resolve most days.

A while ago my therapist gave me a word: survivor. Sometimes she uses it for me, but I haven’t been able to use it for myself. In the same way my body rejects the word “rape” or “rapist” I feel the automatic rejection of the word “survivor.” But maybe it’s not really me rejecting truths. Maybe it’s Anorexia coming in and trying to shut down words that might breakdown it’s roots.

I am at least surviving this season of recovery. That is to say I’ve woken up and gotten out of bed every day. Being a survivor of anything and owning that survival is directly insulting Anorexia and I would much rather begin to survive this day then to invite that terrible running buddy back.

I want to run without her, and survive without her.

4 thoughts on “Seasons of Surviving

  1. I hate the word survivor despite that I’ve survived many horrible things. For some reason the word survivor, to me, implies victim and, again to me, being a victim implies weakness so, rational or not, survivor implies weakness. Now, intellectually I know it means strength, but that doesn’t change my instinctual reaction.

    I really identified with how anorexia gets its tendrils into everything. It irks me so much that you’ve inspired me to write a post. Perhaps getting it out of my head and in front of me will help… or perhaps just be cathartic.

    Thanks 🙏

    Liked by 1 person

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