Life in Hard Mode: Fashion Week and Anorexia

television broadcast of a fashion show
television broadcast of a fashion show

I am excited, and I am terrified.

Fashion Week: for a young woman recovering from anorexia, attending fashion week, surrounded by beautiful people, skinny models, and a society which is centered around appearances, is similar to sending a recovering alcoholic to a bar that serves free drinks all night. Basically, a huge trigger.

So why have I decided to attend? Because I want to challenge myself. It might seem masochistic of me to do this so early on in my recovery (a year now with ups and downs) from this disease. I seem to be playing the game of life and continuously and intentionally choosing the "Hard Mode" even though the "Easy Mode" might be a better option for me. But we all know that the hard mode is so much more fun, and for for anybody who knows me, I cannot turn down a challenge. I no longer want to think of myself as a "sick" person who cannot explore and experience the world because it is filled with dangerous messages which might offset my recovery. I want to think of my recovery in a different way -- recovery as a perilous and exciting journey which is a testament to my strength.

How many times can the eating disorder yell and scream at me with its messages of low-carb diets and "bikini-ready" workout plans, juice fasts and cleanses, magazine articles with waif-like actresses and models wearing the hottest trends -- but then I yell back even louder: "I DON'T CARE! I love myself and this is all a bunch of B.S.!" Then I head to dinner with friends who are supportive, loving, and understanding and enjoy a large bowl of pasta without counting one single calorie. That is recovery on steroids.

Life will continue to present me with these triggers, and I can either let myself hide in a corner, or I can face them head on, fight back with my own truth and even more -- I can spread this truth to others. So to the hard mode in this game of Life -- bring it on.