Humor and recovery

I’ve always been a serious person. I had fun – I remember laughing and goofing off as a kid, even in college. But somewhere along the lines I decided not only is it my job to tell myself what I should and shouldn’t eat, I also decided what feelings I should and shouldn’t have. Categorizing food as good and bad translated into categorizing emotions and feelings and experiences as good and bad. Because of that, I’ve missed out on life.

So many times we focus on the physical effects of eating disorders. We can all spout the health risks and if you read anything about eating disorders, it’s always focused on the symptoms and the effects on our bodies. Sometimes articles mention the other disorders that often co-exist with eating disorders. But so rarely do we talk about the emotional impact. The isolation, the fear, the numbness, the obsessions… when we are living life with ED, we are not living. In recovery, I know that there is freedom – freedom from the rigidity and fear that has ruled my life. I know that there is a freedom to feel my feelings and not judge them as good or bad or frightening or scary. They are what they are.

Losing the ability to be free – to feel everything, including joy – has robbed me of life. I’ve lost time to my eating disorder that I will never get back. The only thing I can do about that is acknowledge it, and move forward. It’s hard to laugh at myself, let alone my eating disorder – I’m not sure I can do that yet. But I realize how important joy, love, laughter, and happiness are to life, and I don’t want to miss out anymore. And if that means watching Three Stooges with my kids, or telling fart jokes, or singing Karaoke off-key, I’m ok with that.


2 thoughts on “Humor and recovery

  1. This is really powerful. I struggled with lost time when I was in recovery (or rather earlier in my continuing recovery) from addiction. But the truth is that time passes. We get older and it’s unnerving no matter what. You are a wiser person because of what you went through. If you lived the most amazing and wonderful decade anyone ever could you’d still be here today with it all having ended. Today is all that counts.

    Your laugh will come back. You can do this.


  2. Thanks, mcgettigan – I’m trying not to look back but forward, and there are many regrets that still linger. Now that my ad meds are better, I’m finding a new happiness in parts and parcels. I’m having a little more fun with my family. And if IOP works out, I hope that I can turn my ED around and really enjoy my 40’s as they are meant to be… appreciate the comments and support!


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