My Absence in A Nutshell


First and foremost, I would like to make my amends for my posting absence. It is not that I neglected my recovery nor my blog, but I had to make the painful yet vital decision to take some time to get myself back together. I could ramble on, composing words of complete sincerity and honesty in order to attempt to explain the last few months of my life since leaving treatment. I could tell you of my triumphs, mishaps, breakup, and relationship. However, it is with my paramount dignity that I refrain from doing just that, because I know where that could lead: excuses. There is no excuse in existence to explain my behavior towards myself and others the past few months. There is but one word to describe what I went through, and that is relapse. Yes, within weeks of getting out of treatment (more precisely, in the airport home) relapse had already succumbed me into its deadly vice, a place I never in a million years imagined I would ever be. I was able to deny it for a while, however, excusing my slips as mere “bumps” in recovery. Little did I know, however, these little “bumps” would lead to a full-blown relapse. After about two months of pure hell, I finally began to see what I, or more rather, the disease was doing to me; anorexia/addiction was controlling my life yet again. Had I not just spent 3 months fighting this monster? Had I forgotten everything that I learned? Sadly, at first, once I realized my disposition, I told myself that I was merely doomed: I had left treatment prematurely—due money restrains—and had no possible way of getting back. Oh, but try I did. I tried and tried—phone calls, bank sums, begging, manipulating..all to no avail. At first, the recognition at the unfeasibility of my going back to treatment disheartened me so. I once again was suicidal and had decided, lugubriously, that death would do recovery and me part. But, it was after a wild dream one evening, in which yes, I did in fact die, that I awoke with a complete perspective change: treatment was not standing in between recovery and I—I was. If I truly wanted recovery, then I could achieve just that, no matter where I was on this green earth. After all, is that not what, if anything, going to Shades taught me? I have the strength..I just have to apply it. That’s when my life truly started to take off. I contacted a sponsor from Shades and began trying to find options that I could exploit at home. No community meetings in town? How about we try phone meetings. I soon found a group of Anorexics and Bulimics Anonymous Phone Meetings that (to my utter and charming revelation) had one every day. Not just once a week or three times a year; EVERY DAY OF THE WEEK. So began my nightly ABA phone meetings. The very first one I called to which I called in was terrifying. I was so afraid, so scared..of what? I do not know. However, once the hour was up I was in such extraordinary spirits, feeling better than I had in so long; that meeting that Monday evening saved my life. It was exactly like being at the meeting itself, yet in the coziness of my PJ’s, messy hair, and mute button.

I began calling into meetings every day, gaining the experience, strength, and hope I needed to get back on my meal/exercise plans and into my recovery literature. Now, almost two weeks since that first evening, I can now say that I, Candace, have made it through my first (and what I desire and determine to be my last) relapse. At first, upon this notion, I was very frustrated in myself and what I had done. Ashamed, mortified, discouraged—no doubt. But after a splendid and eye-opening conversation with a very dear friend, I realized how truly grateful I am for my relapse and having been through it. I learned so much, not only about myself but about the world. My acumen on life and the view which I hold has changed, and I am able to more rationally handle situations that I could not before. I honestly cannot hold blame to myself, to a feebleness of any kind, for my relapse. I arrived home from my sheltered haven to my “real” life I left behind: my parents’ divorce, a concerned community, the stress of my senior year of high school. Considering the circumstances to which I arrived home, I cannot be disappointed in myself: ‘for I reacted exactly the way the “old” Candace would in the said position. I merely forgot, provisionally, all I had learned those three months. It just took me a bit to find it yet again.

So, in conclusion, I would like to yet again make my amends for my absence but explain to you that during the course of the past few months, I decided to take a break from my outreach to focus on myself..the way Shades taught me needs to be done sometimes. No matter how much I want to help people and inspire them, I cannot possibly do this if I, myself, am dying. However, it is with great joy and hope that I come back to you all, and recommence my life’s purpose—sharing with you my journey in recovery..and that includes the rough patches of relapse.

Now that the so-called white elephant is out of the box, I would like to update you all on the little ecstasies of my life currently. School is going well and I am now back to my full schedule. I have great grades and am handling the stress quite well, I do so believe. I was accepted into prestigious, private college, McMurry University (five minutes down the road from Shades!) with a starter scholarship of $46,000, and am in the line for the Honors College full-tuition scholarship on top of that. My interview for the said position is February 9th, and I am stoked to the grandest degree. Back in October I took my first solo plane ride to Abilene for a WarHawk Preview day at the school, and after eight hours and the VIP treatment by the staff, I knew that this is the college at which I want to spend my next four years. Not only do they have one of the best, most academically advanced Honors Programs in the nation, they are so interested in my story and my hopes for starting an ED Education Program at the college. The feeling of belonging I feel there is so..surreal, to say the very least. So with school at the bottom of my stresses (by the way, I made my first B on a big Calculus test and instead of FREAKING OUT, like pre-recovery Candace would do, I patted myself on the back and said simply “I’m proud of you..that was a challenging test.”) I have been spending a lot of time in my recovery, setting aside time each day for my recovery literature, meetings, and meal planning. I even have been experimenting with cooking new things, things I would never before even dream of looking at, much less putting into my body, such as grilled shrimp, cereal, eggs, and cheese! It feels great and my body is finally getting back to a healthy state. I no longer am out of breath and hurting when I arrive to my classes and I can actually see muscle toning. After 17 years of being a literal walking skeleton, it is nice to actually have a healthy body. Granted, I still struggle immensely with body image issues and my body dysmorphia, but that is something I work on daily. I have recently really been diving into expressing my unique/vintage/1800’s/Candace style, complete with my hair feather and nose ring! It makes me feel gratified to go shopping, buy what I actually want and not what I think will receive me the least amount of attention, and then be told by the cashiers that I have a “totally rad style.” Yesterday, for an early 18th birthday present, my parents took me to get my first tattoo, in honor of my recovery. I designed it myself, and the base of it is the recovery symbol for eating disorder recovery, serving as the stem for the lotus flower, which is red, the color of anorexic recovery. The stem is the also the “o” for the word “Hope,” and I am so very satisfied with it. I absolutely adore it.

Speaking of 18th birthday presents, guess what? My first abstinent/clean birthday is in two days! I will be 18 years old and for the first time ever in my life, abstinent from restricting, clean from drugs, and free of self-harm. As for plans, I sadly have none, but I do plan on enjoying the day to the utmost degree. In the past, every birthday I have ever had has been either miserable, depressing, or both. Whether it was due to my obsessing over what I was to not eat/drink/look at or my droning over aging, each past year I awake the next day with regrets of my unfilled enjoyment of that one special day. This year, though.. this year shall be of grand difference.

Well, as I sit beneath this hazy lamplight, writing these words which you now read, I come to the end of my day’s post. I would like to take this time to thank each of you, even those to which I may never speak, for reading this post and for your continued prayers and encouragement. You, each of you living, breathing, worthy souls out there are the reasons why I keep fighting. Whether you know/believe it or not, you are my inspiration for living another day. Hence, with that, there is but one thing left to say: thank you. ❤

~ by candyshele1204 on December 2, 2012.

3 Responses to “My Absence in A Nutshell”

  1. I am so glad to hear from you as the festive season approaches. I know it will be a time of challenges for you but i sincerly wish that the new year brings you health and happiness as you keep up the great work in beating this disease

  2. Your post brings tears to my eyes. It is SO GOOD to hear you empowered by your own recovery! xo Joanne

  3. Happy Birthday and thanks for sharing the nutshell and ecstasies with us. Make the most of the good things that are coming your way.

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