There are two schools of thought that I am aware of when it comes to eating disorders.
The first is that EDs are akin to chronic illnesses (recovering model), suggesting that there will always be some semblance of disorder surrounding food, weight and body image. At best, the illness can be successfully managed (full remission without relapse), but it never goes away completely.
The second school of thought is the belief in full recovery (recovered model), like a bout of pneumonia. This model is much more complicated because it adds the constraint of time to recovery: at some point during the patients life, they will drop the suffix “-ing” from “recover” and trade it for a past tense, “recovered.” The recovery process must at some point come to an end (or resolution, to use a more positive connotation).
The second theory used to scare me. If full recovery was possible, that meant that at some point I would no longer have the eating disorder with me. I would have to find meaning on the other side of that recovering/recovered line, and I had no freaking idea what that would look like.
For the past three years, I have been living my life in the first school of thought. I’ve now come to realize, that’s proven to be very dangerous, and the alternative is looking more and more attractive with each stride I make towards a healthy body and mind.
I’m not saying either of these models is right or wrong. Even the experts can’t come to an agreement. Perhaps there is no one objective truth.
Now I don’t believe in magic. However, I do believe, to some degree, that our mindset determines our fate.
Maybe it’s time I changed my own mind.