Admitting to my addictions and my road to recovery – the blog post I thought I would NEVER Write nor Share!

The intention of this blog, is Not to be about addictions, neither self destructive behavior, per se..

However, saying that, I am one of them. One of them who has to sign the lifelong contract of  “Yep, I am a former addict, of eating disorders, thereby I am in recovery. And there I will stay, from now on, until forever”.. It is not because you do not manage to change your behaviour, or that you would not manage to live your life without your previous problems.

But if you are in recovery , I believe there is where you will stay.

By acknowledging that, you are already one step further of being well and whole. A year back, I would have NOT thought I was going to remain in recovery, my intention was to get Well (and as quick as possible!). Now I realize, I am here to stay..

When I realized, and I tell you, it was a force full realization, when the realization hit me, that I have had eating disorders in various forms under many periods in my life since I was sixteen, then I turned to my usual practical way of resolving problems, by myself. I thought something along the lines of:

“OK, so I realize now, finally admitting, that I have a problem with food and eating and making myself sick.  I have to stop doing this to myself!! How do I fix this and get well?” (bare in mind, this is the sterilized version of what my confused and upset and broken mind was going through, but if you sieve out the message of my thoughts it was along this line “How Do I FIX this and how do I GET WELL!?”

I contacted the Center for Eating Disorders in Stockholm, however before I had my first (turned out to be one and only.. but that is another story!) appointment with them, I, I knew deep inside of me that the answer to my problems did not lie in the hands of others, but,

Inside of me.

Yoga and meditation is something which always have had a deep impact on me. I feel as though there is something with yoga, whether it is in a hot room or on a dirty borrowed mat in Rio, it creeps under the skin on me.. scratches under the surface and reveal my feelings and have many times brought me to tears – over things I did not even know that I remembered, or over feelings I was not able to realize I had until the yoga class scratch a little on the surface..

And meditation, for those of you who has not tried, I recommend that you do, and you will discover by yourself what profound impact it can have on you and your mind.

However, I realized, or rather felt instinctively that yoga would probably be a very good way for me to tackle my problems with food and eating and puking, and my self destructive behavior, or I rather as saw it, a disease! I wanted to tackle the problem, and get well!

Ta-daa!!

Well and healthy again, as if nothing ever happened!

That was my sincere intention.

Now, a year and a half down the line, I would like to amend that to say, that was my sincere, and naïve intention, cause I have learnt, that, at least if I speak for myself, eating disorder is not a disease. It’s a form of addiction, and all addictions, no matter if it is drugs, or shopping, or sex, or alcohol, is an escape.

An escape, from whatever pain you are facing, and do not want to deal with.

Turning to an addiction is a very effective way to numb yourself and take the focus away from the real problem in order to avoid facing your problem or dealing with the real underlying issue.

“Addiction is”, Glennon Doyle Melton wrote “a hiding place (for sensitive people), from love and pain”[1].

I agree. Completely.

It is a hiding place. A numbing place. And in my case, the real underlying problem was quite quickly outweighed by my various eating disorders. It was great way to escape and avoid the underlying problem. Only that you can manage well to escape the problems, but they will remain there until one day that you have to face it and deal with them. Or, remain avoiding it for the rest of your life.

There are of course huge differences between various addictions, since doing drugs is not the same as shopping too much. But if your addiction is sprung from a self destructive behaviour, such as alcoholism, drugs or eating disorder, it is also about keeping yourself small.. it is a reflection of your own view of your self-worth.

I have heard that an alcoholic, can never be a Non Alcoholic, no matter how long they stay sober. An alcoholic will always remain a Sober Alcoholic.

I have realized that it is the same thing with eating disorders.

I can never undue 18 years of bulimia, I can only acknowledge it, stand for it, and stand for that it is a part of me and my past,  which has made me to who I am today. And taken me to where I am right now.

I have also realized that I can never Get Well from bulimia, like a cold or a flu, rather I believe I need to acknowledge that I am a former bulimic, in recovery. And there I will stay.

Cause if I am not in recovery, the opposite is not that, then I will be well, but the opposite is that then, then I probably be back in bulimia.

I am in recovery, I have to continue to strive forward, to not end up going backwards… “It’s easy to turn to the familiar ” a friend said to me “even when we know that it does not work.” As stupid as it might seem, it is of course much easier to turn to familiar destructive behaviour as suppose to look for new, healthier way, to deal with your problems.  I, for example need to continue to strive forwards to find a better way to deal with difficulties when they occur, as suppose to turn to eating disorders, which is never a solution, only a distraction from the problem. A numbing, at least for a while.

Above and beyond everything I have learnt and discovered over the last year, beyond the confusion, pain and tears, I am so grateful, about all of this!

So Grateful that I have finally acknowledge to myself that this is how things are. And I am so grateful that I am finally able to ease the burden of shame and talk about it.

Glennon Doyle Melton, again, said “It is not the pain that is killing us. It is the shame about the pain”[2].

Indeed!

The hardest was NOT to stop eating and puking, hell no, there was nothing I would rather do than to stop that!!

..the hardest was the shame around it, and having to acknowledge to what I have done, stand for it and talk about it.. The last thing I wanted to do, for such a long time.. But in order to be able to stop it, I had to admit that I was doing it, cause how do you stop something you don’t do!?

So, finally I admitted it to myself (I stop here to admit that I can see how weird it most sound to have an eating disorder for soo long without acknowledging and admitting to it even to yourself! But believe me, you become an expert of hiding and denying – even to yourself! Or perhaps, primarily to yourself..). Bit by bit, I told the closest people around me. When I realized, I told my closest family then some friends about my eating disorders.

It is in there, in acknowledging and standing for it, where I have found a real gateway to easing of the burden of shame that I have carried around with me, for such a long time..

I might never ever be completely well from bulimia,

I am in recovery,

And may I always stay there, working actively against these problems, in order to not fall backwards towards the addictions.

I hope I am Here To Stay, on this side of the fine line.

Finally, I must admit to say that I NEVER THOUGHT I would share this with you all, so sincerely

Thank you for listening!

Yours sincerely

Sofia

[1]http://momastery.com/blog/

[2] (http://momastery.com/blog/2016/09/10/this-is-what-a-survivor-looks-like/)img_8792

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