Vanity over Sanity

I’m realizing now just how long I’ve been battling with these inner demons, with this nagging eating disorder creeping into my thoughts and mentality, with this constant up-and-down, twisted labyrinth of “half-recovery” and “full recovery” and “no recovery.” I give labels to everything, I realize, and that makes it so much easier to be harder on myself.

I don’t feel like I’m doing the best job in recovery. I feel like a facade most of the time. I’m still really afraid of gaining weight. I still have designated safe foods. I still alternate between bingeing and restriction on occasion. 

I haven’t chosen sanity over vanity. Looking and seeming better is more appealing than “feeling” better, and that scares me. Because that’s such unhealthy thinking.

An eating disorder snapshot looks likes this: waking up at a time that “feels” too late and instantly feeling guilty and unproductive; trying to delay breakfast as late as possible, making it into a quasi- breakfast/lunch type of meal, working out for the dutiful fifty-five minutes, comparing every other glistening body in the gym, eating a safe Greek yogurt and apple as a quasi lunch/midday snack, feeling like the day is still being wasted, overeating on ice cream as comfort, as familiarity, as a way to punish for being so useless. These are the thoughts and actions filtering into an ordinary Tuesday.

What if it continues to stay half-assed like this? What if I continue beating on myself? What if it’s another five years of obsessing over food and exercise and weight? Sometimes, I feel like it’s an eating disorder, and other times, I rationalize, telling myself that every fucking person I know seems to be on some kind of food/workout craze.

Is my eating disorder my individual, mental instability? Or is it a cultural phenomenon? I’m starting to feel like it’s more of the latter, like I’m almost part of the norm, like it’s strange and uncanny for people to be normal and neutral about their diets and weights. 

I continue to sabotage myself, though, and that’s the important part. Nobody can do this recovery for me, and these problems don’t just go away at the stroke of midnight or when a new day starts. How many “new days” have there been? Infinite, it seems. So many broken promises to myself; so many overarching goals about what I will eat, what I will weigh, what I will do for exercise; all these just lead to disappointment. I make goals unrealistic simply because if I succeed them, they were “too easy” to begin with.

I’m young. It is very likely that my body is the best it can and will ever be. I need to preserve it, love it, take care of it like I would take care of a young child. With patience, unconditional love, and acceptance…I need to do more of that. 

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