Who Am I Without Ana?
One of the major questions holding me back from recovering was always thinking about what my life would be like without Ana, (Anorexia) what I would do and who I would be without her. After all, Margherita and Ana had been together for so long now, for 5 solid years the real me had been lost underneath Ana's shadow. We didn't have a second apart from each other and I had even become so afraid of what my life would be like without her. I was worried that my life would get worse! I would tell this to my therapist, saying "What if I become more miserable without Ana?" My therapist would reply, "Well, things really can't get worse than what you are going through now, you have hit rock bottom with Ana and without her things can only get better." Then I would reply, "I admit things are horrible with Ana and that I am incredibly miserable, but at least I am thin. I would rather be thin and miserable than fat and miserable. What if when I recover all that happens is me gaining weight and becoming fat and still miserable? What would I do then?" ... I'm sure that if you are deciding whether to choose to recover then I bet you also have thought of these questions and I'm sure they too felt/feel like a barrier chaining at your arms and legs... halting you from recovery.
Sometimes the biggest thing holding us back from recovering is the fear of life without Ana, Rex, Mia or Ed, Ben, or whatever name you have given your Ed. The constant state of worry that things might get worse than they are without them and the false reality that things are better with them. Maybe life after recovery is just as miserable as life before recovery?
The thing is you will never know unless you try.
Maybe life is worse without Ana, or maybe life is amazing and more incredible than you ever dreamed without her. You will never find out unless you take the leap. Recovery is a big leap of faith. It's you standing at the very edge of uncertainty and just taking the jump. If you hold onto hope and let your curiosity of life without an eating disorder drive you forward you will leap into loving life. There is a risk you might fall but there is also a chance that you might fly. So, take the leap, jump and you will see for yourself if life is better or worse without an eating disorder. I assure you even with all your worries you won't be let down and the glimpses of freedom that you see will build your wings until you reach the free in freedom.
Now, here are my answers to all those questions:
Who am I without Ana? The real and free-willed Margherita.
What would I do without Ana? Anything I wanted to.
What if recovery is only about weight? Then why have I found happiness?
What if I fall rather than fly? Because I decided it was my choice to fly or fall.
Yes, recovery is worth every ounce of hard work.
No, I am not fat.
No, I am not miserable.
Yes, I let go of Ana.
No, I am not thin. But yes, I am happy.
My life without Ana is a million times better than my life was with her and I can't find the words to express how proud I am of my recovery.
I finally know who I am without Ana. Margherita is no longer hidden by a shadow of negative thoughts. I discovered myself and I am still learning something new about myself every day.
No one can get you to take the leap but yourself. No one can push you over the edge or dangle you off the end.
Only you can choose to jump or not and only you can decide to fly.