Yesterday I returned home from a much needed vacation. It wasn’t without a few challenges, but it was one of the better vacations I have had in recovery. Road trips can be especially challenging seeing as my brain still computes stuck in a car all day to you need to restrict your intake. Luckily I have learned to pack easy foods that satisfy me and my meal plan without having the added anxiety of fast food stops. The first day with family I followed through and went shopping! I even bought a new summer dress that I really love. (pictures to come in the future!)
We spent a plethora of time out on the lake. Kayaking, jet skiing, swimming. I used to be all consumed by the eating disorder and would spend the hours cringing about how I looked in a swim suit and comparing myself to others. This time I felt completely free. I wasn’t necessarily free of a thought or two, but I didn’t let these fleeting moments ruin an entire day. I was able to be mindful and enjoy the amazing company. I also spent a good deal of time with my horses. Being around them makes me completely calm and stops all my anxiety in an instant. I didn’t realize how much I missed them until I was able to spend time with them again. The most important piece of this vacation was the fact that I was able to remind myself that it is normal to indulge in things outside my normal routine. It was a nice break from my normal gym activities and I enjoyed things I don’t get to do as often like kayaking. It was refreshing and peaceful.
Coming home I recognized a change in me. I returned home and instead of having an irresistible desire to “compensate” for a week of vacation, I simply fell back into routine. It used to take me weeks to adjust back after a vacation because I would inevitably fall into a disordered eating pattern. And it isn’t as if I am fighting for recovery like I have had to in the past. I woke up today like any other normal day and I didn’t even realize this was a very large accomplishment until I sat down to write. It is one of those accomplishments that makes me think more and more about being completely recovered and what that looks like for me. I have considered myself in strong recovery for a few months now and can’t help but wonder what that “line” is to be able to call myself recovered. People have their own beliefs about the definition of recovered and I am still figuring out what that looks like within my own life. That will have to be a post for another day because I could probably write a novel about my experience and beliefs from my journey. For now I am content to not let the eating disorder have any control in my day to day and I am very excited about what the next few months have in store for me.