I Choose Recovery

You are not born with a fixed amount of resilience. Like a muscle, you can build it up, draw on it when you need it. In that process you will figure out who you really are--and you just might become the best version of yourself. - Sheryl Sandberg

In a life with infinite options and endless possibility, I choose recovery.

I choose it in the face of adversity, I choose it under pressure, and I choose it when my brain tells me to do otherwise. I choose it for the authenticity, I choose it for the self-acceptance, and I choose it in the name of freedom.

I choose it for myself, and I choose it for my family.

Someone recently asked me when it was that I became "recovered." I paused for a moment before answering, wishing I could offer a more tangible response. I could remember the year that it all began, I could remember what things looked like in my life when I first reached out for help, I could remember sitting on a curb outside saying things out loud for the first time, I could remember my heart beating so loud I could hardly hear my own wobbly voice, and I could remember the monumental change that began with just one step. What I couldn't remember, however, was the exact moment that I became recovered.

In my experience, it wasn't one precise moment or one specific day that things began to shift. It was a series of small movements, a collection of baby steps, an assortment of repetitions, and a whole lot of conscious effort and struggle.

It was a steady transformation -- and it was careful and slow.

I can't remember exactly when it happened. I can't remember when I stopped counting nutrition content, or when the shackles began to loosen their grip. I can't remember when I gave myself permission to stop running (literally and figuratively), and I can't remember when I stopped resisting. Resisting foods that weren't "safe," resisting invitations that involved food, and resisting opportunities that required flexibility. I can't remember when I became "me" again, or when I figured out who I was without my eating disorder. I can't remember when the worries started dripping out of me like a wet towel hung to dry, or when disordered ideas were replaced by healthier ones.

All I know is I chose recovery, and I strived for it most days. I say "most" days because, as I'm sure you know, recovery is relentless work. My mind and body weren't always on the same page, and some days I needed a realignment, a reality check, and a friendly push.

It had to be a choice, and that choice had to be mine.

Some people might think that because I've come so far, I don't have to choose recovery anymore. They might think that I've arrived, and the work is over. Unfortunately, that is not my truth. My truth is that although the work is much simpler now, it remains in constant motion. It is seamless and quiet, but it is mindful and always evolving.

I don't remember exactly how or when I got here, but I do remember this: Once I had a sip of that freedom, I truly realized why I chose recovery. Once I fell in love with my husband, I realized the magnitude of this freedom. Once I brought two daughters into this world, I realized the power of this new life.

I can't tell you when I became recovered. But I can tell you this: every single day, I choose recovery.

And I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.

Earlier on Huff/Post50: