ED Recovery as mama

Recovery is difficult at the best of times, whatever you may be working through. Throw a child into the mix and it becomes a whole other thing.

I took to the road of recovery two months before I found out I was pregnant. I worked hard on trying to get myself back to being me, whoever that may have been. I was determined to to find comfort in my skin. I was going to be healthy. For me.

As expected I struggled greatly. I basically had a continuous string of false starts. Then I did another pregnancy test. (There was a month of tests taken before we knew anything) looking at three positive tests I had a string of thoughts, besides the sheer joy pumping through my veins.

  1. HOLY SHIT!
  2. I’m gonna be a mama!
  3. I can’t wait to tell Scott.
  4. I know nothing
  5. I’m going to gain LOTS
  6. I have to get healthy for the his baby!

I spent the following 8 months fighting and working relentlessly to ensure I got myself on track. And the biggest encouragement to push through was that tiny human growing inside me. No part of it was easy. But I did the best I could to keep my girl growing and healthy by working through it. (I’ll blog about pregnancy with an ed later) And without her I’m not sure I’d have got so far.

See when you have an eating disorder it’s all about you. Your thoughts, your issues and your control. At least that’s how it was for me. But once you have a baby that’s not the case anymore. By continuing down that familiar path I was so comfortable on I would be harming my child. And that was not something I was prepared to do.

I naively thought that I would only have to work so hard whilst I was carrying her. If I just got through the 8 months going at it hard, I could take it down a notch once I had her. Then I realised that breastfeeding ment I had to eat well for baby to eat well. You can’t restrict and have a healthy milk supply. So again I decided to get through it and I’ll revisit once I’ve stopped.

But you cant do that to yourself or your baby. You cannot let that voice in your head tarnish that progress you have made.

It’s unfortunately something I’ll be working on for the rest of my life. Some days I’ll get by hardly thinking about consumption others will be an internal battlefield. It’s something I have to stay in control of because I DO NOT want my daughter learning my bad habits. I DO NOT want her to be in the same position I am or have been.

Motherhood has bad days. Anyone who says different is lying to you. There’s days you don’t get out your pyjamas and don’t have the opportunity to eat, drink, pee never mind anything else. Those days are tough for anyone. They become extremely challenging though for someone working through recovery. One day of little to no food can easily slip into a week and then your back to the beginning trying to get back to that place you were doing so well.

The biggest thing is to remind ourselves in those tough moments is that we are not just doing this for ourselves. We are doing this for that tiny human who relys on us for everything. I can’t be he mama I want to be if I am that version of myself. Ed Hayleigh dosn’t see the world clearly. She can’t be a positive role model when she is blinded by disease. And she certainly doesn’t have the strength to keep up with the demands of motherhood.

This week has been a struggle. Due to everything going on I’ve had a slippery week. Losing a job because of your age and being a mother can take its toll on anyone. And it caused me to revert into old habits die to lack of control over my own situation. But I am aware of what’s happening. I’m aware of this set back and I’m working on getting through it. Not only for myself, because after everything I bloody deserve recovery (we all do) but for that little girl who needs me. She needs me happy, healthy and here.

She is my muse. She pushes me to be better in so many ways. She inspires and motivates me to keep up the hard work. In so many ways I need her more than she needs me. And the best way to thank her for all she’s done for me is to keep on that road to recovery. It’s the best thing I can give her.

You are doing great. You deserve everything you have. You deserve to be happy and healthy. And after everything you’ve been through, you owe this to yourself.

Love and hugs,

Hayleigh xo

*Images are not mine but sourced online*

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