There is a great campaign going on for the international ED awareness week. Check out the video below.
The idea is to thank the person which helped you get through recovery.
However when seeing this video I asked myself "what if you do not have such a hero?"
To be honest - during recovery I did not feel like there was anybody out there I could talk to - besides my therapist. Which was great, which helped a lot. But never I felt like I could talk about all those thoughts which were going on in my head, all those questions I kept asking myself during recovery.
My parents knew what was going on - but a) I was living in Paris and they are living in Germany and b) whenever I tried to talk to them I saw this absolutely terrified look on their faces, being scared for their daughter, being scared that I could not make it, being scared that I relapse, being scared for my health and my future. I tried talking about it despite this once or twice but I just ran into walls. They did not know how to react (obviously), they did not know what to say... and my parents tend to manage uncertainties with anger. I couldn't do this to them - so I just strictly avoided that topic.
The other person who know what was going on was my boyfriend of the time. And there - again: He was completely overstrained with this topic. He was living in Switzerland, I was living in Paris. That was the first difficulty because he simply could not always be there when I just needed a hug and some nice words. Plus - again - he did not know what to say. Which led to the fact that I called him up on day, in tears, I felt awful, disrupted on the inside, I did not think I was worth recovery, I did not think that I was sick obviously enough, even though I knew very well that I had a serious problem - it was a horrible situation. His answer on the phone: "Get your shit together and learn how to manage yourself, otherwise I'm gone." It was the worst answer he could have given me but in the end I cannot even be mad at him for that - he simply did not know how to react. Needless to say that starting there, I did not talk to him about this topic any more.
"What about your friends?" you will say. Well - this was a time where I did not really have a lot of friends. I had just finished my master studies, all friends which I had found at university started to move back to their home countries (at this international university in Paris, about 90% of the students were non-Parisian). And I did not (yet) have a lot of friends elsewhere. At least nobody who was close enough to talk to about this subject.
So no, not everybody has a recovery hero. I'm really happy for those of you who have one - I imagine that this is making recovery a little less hard. For those of you who are more like I was - learn to be your own hero. Learn to trust yourself. Learn to be good to yourself. Learn to listen to your inner voice, to the real voice of your ED, who in fact wants something else for you than "being skinny". Whenever the ED voice is coming back up, I am asking myself what is really missing in my life. What does it really want for me? Comfort? Being loved? Happiness? Lightness? Once you know what it wants, give it to yourself. Because you deserve it.