A Metaphor for Recovery
recovering from an eating disorder is like slowly walking away from a really loud concert.
at first, you arrive at the concert and you love it. it’s fun, it’s exciting, everybody else seems to be having a good time, to not be bothered by the music. so you stay, you dance around, even though you’re tired. eventually you don’t even want to be there but you stay because the second half of the concert will be better, right?
but the music’s loud and you’re starting to wonder if it’s going to hurt your ears. you start to wonder if maybe you should leave or at least take a break and walk away for a few minutes. but you think, the concert will probably end soon, you should just stay.
finally you reach a point where you’re so tired of the noise so you start to walk away. the concert is so crowded that it takes you forever to gain any distance. shoving through masses of bodies, some are angry at you for disrupting them and push you to the side.
as you get father away from the crowd, the music dies down a little. but it’s still so, so loud.
finally you get far enough away that you can’t hear the music. but your ears are ringing from the concert so you can’t hear anything else either. the ringing seems to last forever; you can’t stop thinking about it either.
as the days pass by, sometimes you miss the concert. it was so fun, you didn’t have to worry about the ringing in your ears, nobody was asking you questions.
one day you even packed a bag and got into your car, you started driving, merging onto the highway, heading in the direction of the concert venue. you have the radio playing, it’s loud, the windows are down. your ears start to hurt a little, almost like they know what’s coming.
you have a battle inside your head. should you go? it would be better than being at home with the ringing in your ears, at least you’d get to hear the music.
suddenly, you wake up. you flinch and the steering wheel turns slightly. “what am I doing? I don’t want the music. I don’t want the ringing either.” you turn around and start driving back home.
more days pass. the ringing gets quieter, some days you don’t notice it at all. other days, the ringing is so loud that you can’t hear anything else. but as the days go on, more and more are filled with other things besides the concert music. even better music starts to fill your house and drown out the ringing. it’s nice.
eventually, finally, the music and the ringing are both quiet. you’ll never, ever want to go back to the concert.