The thing about announcing to people, even just a handful of them, that you're beginning an official program to rid yourself of an addiction, is that then they're going to expect you to live up to it. I enter the Renfrew Center's intensive outpatient program tomorrow and am nervous--scared. Nervous that all the ideas of addiction and illness are bullshit and I just lack willpower. Nervous that it's too late. Nervous that I'll walk in and it will be a bunch of anorexic 12-year-olds and me. Nervous that I'll get worse instead of better. Nervous that I'll get off the binge eating cycle and onto the restricting one. Nervous that I'll enjoy restricting if that happens. Nervous that I'm just lazy. Nervous that this will lead me to say "fuck it" and I'll eat whatever I goddamn want and will become fat. Nervous that I don't really have a problem. Nervous that I do. Nervous that my insurance will crap out. Nervous that I will be too ashamed to look anyone in the eye.
Honestly, I am a little bit petrified. But now that I am writing it out, I see that I am indeed terrified and that it's okay. It's a feeling I can handle. It's better than numbness. I hope I can remember that when feelings stronger than "a little bit petrified" begin to kick in.
I want to sit here and vow that I will give this my all. Because I have to; because it's been 25 years; because this is my chance. Because it's time. Because it could be the rest of my life like this if I don't. But I don't know if I can make that promise--I don't want to make a promise I won't be able to keep. I don't even know what "giving this my all" would mean--I've made so many halfhearted promises to myself and broken them in the light of morning. Write every day / No sugar / Spend 20 minutes cleaning my apartment every day / meditate every day / call my brother once a month / write a letter once a week. These are not impossible promises to keep, but I've broken every one. So if I were to say "I promise to give this my all," I would be lying.
What I can say: I will do my best. I will be kind to myself, while noting that "kind" does not equal permission to numb myself with food and television. I will approach this with an open mind. I will trust that this can work, but that I will have to do my part for that to happen.
One Man’s Struggle and Recovery from Anorexia
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