About 4 months into my recovery I started to see glimpses of what ED actually is. This is not some fad that I will grow out of. This is not something that will go away in one day, or one month, or (so I’m told) one year. This is not something that will just “go away” either. I have literally battled the enemy day in and day out. I heard it said this way once. Imagine something you’re deathly afraid of. Whether its heights, spiders, snakes, small spaces, drowning, rejection, abandonment, or even death. Now imagine being faced with that fear 6 times a day for thirty minutes each time. I guarantee you will fight, kick, scream, cry, and beg your way out of having to go through that day in and day out. After 8 months of torture, you will say that I can no longer face it and would rather die holding on to that fear. This is recovery.
Maybe I have watched too many Grey’s Anatomy episodes, or maybe its the nursing student in me, but I am FASCINATED with the body and how much it is capable of handling every.single.day. It’s AMAZING! I love hearing about surgeries and watching them, I love seeing a patient go from complete destruction to complete healing, or maybe even no healing because it’s unavailable but they seem to accept where they are at. I was that person who just accepted where I was at and had no intention of healing, even though healing was and is possible. I had a dream one night that I had a tumor in my brain. This tumor was as dark as complete darkness, its tentacles were reaching out to every life-giving artery that my body could hold. I watched as it pulsated with each heartbeat, I heard the way it was sucking the blood from my body and growing larger each minute. I observed my stiff, cold body laying on the surgical table and then as I went back into my body I saw the blaring lamps above me. I lay there telling the surgeon not to cut because if they did I would die. The surgeon preceded to tell me that if they don’t cut the tumor I will die. I refused, and they left the room. I was numb, disengaged and at that point, I didn’t care. Awakening from that dream, I was paralyzed by the accuracy of it. That’s exactly what I was feeling. The tumor, although was stealing the life away, was too entangled with my life that cutting it out meant death. That was me about 4 months ago.
Today I’m exhausted, vulnerable, stressed, and at times depressed. I have struggled for the last month staying on track in recovery but now I see myself as the surgeon. I am the one who has to meticulously unwind and untangle the tumor from my life giving arteries. I have to strategize, contemplate, prioritize which tentacle to get rid of next. ED is tricky though, it will strategize which route it will take next to tangle me up in, it’s like a tumor that is ever-changing. I have to be vigilant and diligent in recovery and that gets exhausting. Sometimes surgeons have to take breaks and go back to the basics, sometimes they need to consult their peers and mentors. I will be doing that too. I have decided to step back up to a higher level of care because I know that at this time of recovery I need some more stabilization and structure. It is a humbling decision because of course, I thought recovery was linear. Here goes nothing, another attempt to beat ED. I know its possible and I know I’m not the only one who thinks stepping back up is shameful. This is doable, we CAN be the surgeons and every day we will have victories. Small and
insignificant they may be but they are one step closer to throwing that tumor out of our lives.
With Love, Nik