me: i agree, i'm just waaayy too far in my recovery to still be hearing that shit haha
me :i haven't had one slip
ex: how long?
me : nearly six months
ex: that's pretty awesome
me : you know, i agree haha
me : i really never thought i'd do it
ex : haha you had to
It's bizarre I had this conversation, especially given I was talking to CJ last night about how I don't really speak to my ex all that often. He imed me last night, which was a nice surprise, and this was a piece of the IM that I felt necessary to expand on.
Throughout our relationship, I never thought he was proud of me. I'm not sure what kept me from believing it, but I didn't. I think a lot of it was in my own head, but it didn't stay there. He knew I didn't believe him. This made things very stressful because he didn't know how to change my mind. And, here we are, a year later, and you know what? I believe him now. I do believe he thinks it's 'awesome' that I've had six months symptom free. I really do think he's proud of me. Recovery was all he ever wanted for me. I'm not quite sure why I failed to recognize that, but I do now, and I suppose that's what matters. It was nice to hear that from him.
As for the second piece of the conversation (the 'you had to'), I disagree with it very much. I did not HAVE to do anything, per se. I did not HAVE to get better. I could have died. I really could have. For a long stretch of time, I genuinely wanted to. I was deadset (no pun intended) on being six feet beneath the ground. What saved me was what little hope I still had after years and year of being trapped in hell. I had a fleeting belief that I would be saved, that someone would travel across the River Styx and rescue me from burning in Hades. I failed to realize that I had to walk out myself. I had to paddle the fuck across that river and see my way out. No one was ever going to be able to steal me away from this - not my ex, not my parents, not my friends. This illness wanted me; it claimed me. I let it, for a very long span of time. I listened to people's worried words, but did not absorb them. I nodded my head in assent, promising to do better, only to spend that night purging away my guilt. This illness is far more tricky than it lets on. It's not a simple 'starve and sleep and not think about it' method. It's consuming and every waking moment is dedicated to avoiding not only food, but everything in its entirety, including life. My disorder fought my desire for life until it was on its back, until the point where I genuinely believed I'd never have it back. I'm never sure what re-sparked it. One day I woke up and said, 'I really don't want to do this anymore,' and I think that was enough. That, in many respects, was a death knell as well as an acquittal. I said I'd had enough, which my disorder took as, 'I'm ready to die now,' not 'I'm ready to live.' Thankfully, I trekked through the Valley of Death, gasping for water, oxygen, everything, and fell head first into the mirage of Renfrew.
I don't believe that Renfrew saved my life. Did it help? Immensely. In many respects, it saved me from myself. But, once I became capable of staring that 'self' in the eye, I fused with it and we went on a journey to save, reconstruct, and mold my life. Renfrew was my foundation. Renfrew taught me that life is not a dilemma, but a blessing. It taught me that life was something I desperately wanted, but was too removed from because of my disorder. So, it stripped me of my disorder and said, 'Look. There's life. Go freakin' get it.' Thus, Renfrew provided me with life, which I then saved by myself.
I'm happy everyday that I made it through. Not many people do. I know I'm in a small percentage of people that overcame and kept on keeping on. I value that very much. I could go back, and I know this. It'd be too easy. Illness is simple. It takes no thought and no effort. I have no interest in that any longer. Life is rough and difficult and exhausting. And, I'd have it no other way.