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Feeling Empty in Eating Disorder Recovery

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What will come in the place of my eating disorder?

Not having an answer to that question was my excuse to keep putting off recovery. My life revolved around food, exercise, and rigidity, so what would it revolve around if I no longer had all that?

At one point in my recovery, my fears of emptiness seemed to have been confirmed as I reached a point where I felt completely purposeless. The best way to describe this feeling, is as if my soul had somehow become detached from my body—my new, unfamiliar, larger body—and was just swaying in the wind like a plastic bag with no destination.

It was scary and unpredictable, and I felt lost at sea; caught between two shores that I didn’t know which i wanted more. Did I want to go back to everything that was familiar and safe, at the cost of being a slave? Or did I want to keep swimming forward, trusting that I would eventually arrive at a beautiful new life where i was free?

The period of emptiness during my ED was eventually followed by a period of growth and self-discovery. I learned more during that time than I ever knew about myself prior, and this newfound self-awareness was only possible because I made space for it.

Sometimes, making space and trusting is the only thing you can do. Life is filled with unknowns, and you will never give life the opportunity to be beautiful if you try and micromanage everything. Sometimes, you first have to remove old things before you can gain inspiration for new ones. You can’t place new books on a shelf that’s loaded with other crap already. The emptiness is an essential in-between step. And I promise you, it’s only temporary­čĺť

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