That’s the hardest part, right? That is what they say at least. I care to disagree.
Don’t get me wrong, you’re riddled with anxiety about what others will think about you, let alone the guilt that you feel you’re somehow failing at life. But the love, support and visible relief of others is something that lifts you onto a cloud, giving you a sense of being invincible – able to take on the world let a lone a little ED shaped blip.
Then the hard works commences, draining your prematurely fragile body of every ounce of energy that it can muster. The balloon of optimism slowly deflates, lowering you into a dark hole surrounded by the reality of the situation that you find yourself in. Your loved ones throw ropes of love, hope and encouragement but the only way out is for you to scramble. To turn your back on ED, and to pull yourself away.
You can see the end goal, you can see that shining pot of gold at the end of the rainbow…. but right in front of that rainbow is the ‘Bank of ED’ where endless amounts of gold are available for withdrawal 24/7. The Bank of ED has some seriously appealing promotions going on and a world class marketing team to encourage you to stay.
Onlookers assume that you’re on the road to recovery, that things are about to get better. You’ve admitted that you have a problem and now it can only be a matter of time before you’re freed, right? They can’t understand why you’d want to remain safe in the grip of what they consider to be a monster, but they haven’t seen his softer side.
You see, ED reassures you that when everybody tires and gets angry with frustration, he will always be there for us, loving and warm… he won’t ever show frustration. He picks on perfectionists and taunts us with our weaknesses before encouraging us that he can lead us to perfection, we just need to follow him. He gives us feelings of power, control and acceptance. When others discourage us, he reassures that its due to their own insecurities. When they look at ED with looks of hatred, he tells us that those looks are meant for us, he persuades us that it’s him and us against the world.
He cuts us deep, before soothing us, pulling us in against his beating heart. He wipes away our tears. He blackmails us, telling us that if we betray him, he will out us to the world as undeserving, unpopular, unattractive human beings, before reassuring us that he loves us despite those flaws.
He understands that not every day is good days – he never questions how we feel – he just gets us. For everything that he takes away, he provides us with something safe, something very hard to give away. Can you imagine waving goodbye to the very existence that you’ve been living for years… for something we’re promised will be better but have no first hand experience of? The torment? The torture?
I know that the road to recovery is the right one, the only one to live the future that I dream of living. Whilst it’s incomprehensible to so many though, waving goodbye to the cocoon that’s kept me ‘safe’ is harder than I ever could have imagined. I’ve stepped aboard the recovery train and with that comes expectations when the reality is that life is lived from day to day.