The Work

I am accustomed to challenges. I love a good challenge–a big performance, peer review, promotion, journal article. But, I realized recently that part of what’s keeping me stuck in this relapse cycle is a feeling of… apathy, maybe? That’s not quite the right word, but I don’t know what is. It’s not depression, necessarily, or feeling overwhelmed. I’m not sure what to label it, but I recently was struck by the fact that this work of recovery does not end.

I like a good challenge, but I prefer said challenges to have end points.

I remember realizing that my anxiety over my kids’ well-being would never end. The baby stage would end, when I could stop worrying about SIDS, but then came the next worry, and the next, and the next. The anxiety and worry (and overwhelming love) of parenting doesn’t have an end.

Nor does recovery. I have found those times in recovery when it feels easier, less hard. But, it has never been entirely worry-free. The ED has never been totally out of my mind; it may move from the foreground of my vision, but then it lurks in the periphery. It’s hard for me to swallow that no matter how much work I do, there will always be more work to be done.

I hate thinking that this ED has touched every corner of the past 26 years. I hate thinking that it might continue to touch all the years I have to come. But, that’s likely my reality. I know it will get easier, that some periods won’t be this hard. But, I do have to face the fact that some periods MAY be this hard… forever.

I talked with my therapist today, and that was helpful. I am heartened by the fact that at least I know what the work is. I know the checklist of things that make it more likely for me to succeed. I know those things that I really shouldn’t do or be around right now… I just have to do the actual goddamn work.

The problem is my motivation. I used to be compelled by the numbers on my day counter. I felt accountable to therapy or my husband, or something. Now, I don’t really feel all that badly letting those things or people “down.” I’m not excited by the challenge of recovery any longer. I am tired. I am distressed by so many things in the world. I don’t particularly feel like doing the work.

Back to Day 1.

Published by Quitter

I’m a college professor, wife, and mother of 2 small kids. I’m on a recovery journey 20 years in the making.

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