Getting my wisdom teeth out gave me a glimpse into what recovery could look like? I state that as a question because the two things seem completely unrelated at first. They are two different entities entirely, how could being swollen and bruised allow me to remember a piece of my past life – a life without Anorexia?
For the past couple of days, I was absolutely dreading getting my wisdom teeth out. I was afraid of how Ana would react – it would be a few days of rest and a whole lot of doing nothing. I braced myself for the pain Ana would likely put me through, forcing me to move my body despite the surgery. What ended up happening surprised me immensely.
Yesterday, I got home from my appointment at 10:30 and was utterly exhausted. I then did something I haven’t done in years – I took a nap. That’s right, I laid down on my mom’s bed, curled up in my SWEATPANTS and slept for two hours. I woke up afraid, what punishment would Ana inflict upon me for doing this? But for the first time in a very long time, she was quiet. A voice of reason popped into my head, “Georgia you just had surgery and are on a lot of medication. Resting is completely normal for you today.” I liked that voice, that voice validated my feelings, it made me feel okay.
After waking up I proceeded to do some of the things I have been meaning to get done for weeks, however Ana hasn’t let me sit down long enough to actually do any of them. I made some phone calls, completed the assignments my dietician assigned me, and even looked into nursing assistant jobs. This was all while sitting under the warmth of the sun outside on my patio. This may not seem very revolutionary, but for me it was a huge step. I wasn’t forcing myself to sit down, I wasn’t fighting the voice telling me to get up and walk around, I was enjoying myself. There was a beautiful quiet within me.
By that time my jaw was starting to ache, so I took one of the pain medications prescribed to me. About an hour later, I was cleaning my room and fell asleep on my floor – yes, on my floor (I have a very cozy rug). Instead of beating myself up for this “laziness” the voice of reason calmed me yet again. “The side effect of those pain medications is sleepiness Georgia. Don’t worry, this is normal. It’s only one day.”
By dinner time, I had made it through the entire day without the intense feelings of guilt Ana usually inflicted upon me. By evening, I was not exhausted from the inward battle that usually wages incessantly within. I had a lovely dinner with my family – of mashed potatoes, soup and apple sauce – where I could happily engage in conversation and be totally in the present.
And so now I ask: What happened yesterday that was so different from all my other days? Yesterday, Ana gave me a break. Apparently wisdom tooth surgery was enough for her to decide I deserved one day off. I’m not complaining, yesterday was amazing, but how can I make yesterday every single day? That’s what I am trying to figure out, but I know it’s going to take a lot of hard work and dedication to make yesterday my reality.
What a different life I could lead by just being kind to myself. A whole new world was exposed just by listening to my body and my true needs and desires. I simply treated myself as I would a friend or family member and that mindset made all the difference.
Each and everyday, being kind to myself will look a little bit different. Yesterday, it looked like a whole lot of rest and quality time with my family. Next week, it might look like a walk in the park with my dog followed by some time with my friends. But I know one thing now, yesterday gave me a glimpse into the true happiness I could have just by treating myself with a little respect. I know that I deserve this, and so do you. Let’s get there together.