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there-is-always-hope-2516881The Miracle of Recovery

By: Guest Blogger Lizzie Elsberg

I remember, one time in college, telling a friend, “It will be a miracle if I ever get better.” And when I said “miracle”, I truly meant a walk on water type of happening. I did not think recovery from my eating disorder was possible. It is this very mindset that keeps so many people stuck in their diseases; they don’t have hope. They are in such a dark place that they can’t see the light. It is very easy to believe that seeing a therapist, or other taking steps to heal from a mental illness is a waste of time – why put so much time and effort into something when it won’t do any good? That’s what I thought. “Therapists don’t understand me”, “medication doesn’t make me feel different”, “coping skills are stupid”. I’ve said it all. After all, recovery would take a miracle, and miracles don’t happen, right?

 Wrong.

Recovery is not easy. In fact, it’s probably the most difficult thing I have ever done. It’s not a quick fix. Ever since I actively started pursuing recovery, I wanted immediate results. I wanted it to be like flipping a switch – turn the dark into light, just like that. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. Though I consider myself to be in recovery now, some days are still dark. Some days are brighter than I could have ever imagined. Most days are somewhere in between, and that’s okay. I’m learning to accept that that in-between place as normal; it’s called life. I love it here – I’m not blinded by the darkness, nor am I burned by unnatural brightness.

So, how did I get here? Honestly, I don’t really know. I guess the answer would be that I never gave up. I was honest, I kept appointments with my therapist, and I returned to treatment when I needed to. Sometimes, even to this day, I say to myself, “I haven’t really come that far.” That’s because recovery is a process; it doesn’t happen overnight. It’s like when you see a baby growing. If you’re with the child every day, you don’t notice that much of a difference. But if you only see the baby every few months, the change is drastic each time you meet. I feel the same way about my own growth in my recovery. No, I don’t think I’ve changed much since yesterday, but if I compare myself to how I was a year ago…WOW! That’s when I notice the difference, and it’s a big difference. You see, a year ago I was dying. Now, I am living.

My point is, there is always hope, even if you don’t feel it yet. This is not to say that hope is devoid of pain. Living in the disease is horrific, because the life is literally being sucked out of you. Living in recovery hurts too, but this time it is because you are healing. Hold onto that hope through it all, though, because the pain gets less every day.

I guess miracles do exist. I’m here. I’m alive. I have more good days than bad. That’s how I know they exist – because I am my own miracle.

 My name is Lizzie and I Stand for believing in miracles. 

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