This effectively is ‘half way’ recovery. It’s basically a point where you appear to be recovered to the world around you. You are at a ‘healthy’ weight and are able to mostly function, yet mentally your eating disorder still has complete control.
In quasi recovery you are likely to still have all your food rules (I did) and will be absolutely terrified of eating anything above and beyond what you see as safe for fear that you will get ‘fat’ overnight.
Quasi recovery will be different for everyone. For some you might be able to eat some of the foods you used to have as banned foods, for others including me, I wasn’t able to do this.
My life wasn’t free and I was still completely controlled by my eating disorder. I had a very limited list of foods I was able to eat, would do everything I could to not have to go out for dinner, wouldn’t let others cook for me, was consumed by thoughts of food and certainly didn’t have any sort of consistent energy.
The funny thing is I certainly hadn’t fooled my family and close friends into believing I was recovered but to everyone else I was smashing it. I was winning age group positions, training like a pro, and all the while struggling for consistent energy. I was on a sugar rollercoaster, but I was so driven i couldn’t stop.
In quasi recovery the required mental neural rewiring hadn’t been done and this means that the brain is still obsessed. I used to always pick the lowest calorie sandwiches, lowest calorie everything. And the most funny thing, I didn’t even count calories. Now when I’m picking my meal deal, its gotta have a decent amount of substance or I’m like what a waste of my dollar..
To add fuel to the fire I was eating 6 apples, 6 pears, 2 packs of grapes, 9 persimmon fruits & a watermelon every single day. I guess this is how I gained the weight and how I kept it on. My stomach was in bits but I couldn’t stop. I thought it was healthy and I saw fruit as a free food that didn’t count. So I could have as much as I wanted. I couldn’t do afternoon run sessions as I was so bloated it hurt. Yet I just couldn’t do anything about it. My eating disorder had complete control. I was driven by fear. Pure and utter fear.
It only dawned on me that I have been in quasi recovery for the last 10 years when I properly started recovering. My pal asked me how it’s possible to relapse if you make a full recovery. And the simple answer. If you are able to relapse, you probably never recovered.
If you had asked me back then I would have told you recovery wasn’t possible.
But now I’ve started my proper recovery journey (which for the record is the hardest and most confusing thing I’ve ever done) I actually take that back. I now believe recovery is 99% possible. Yes somewhere at the depths of my mind Sophie will always be there but it’s now my decision to listen to her. And I don’t anymore, she isn’t welcome. Some days it feels like a game of opposite actions, but for the moment I think that’s how it has to be.
What happened this Year?
Even though I was ‘recovered’ I was a nightmare to be around. I was grumpy, irritable, rude at times and completely had no control of my emotions. I wasn’t there, my eating disorder had complete control. Then this year around March I was struggling with a high level of stress and I just decided to cut the fruit out cold turkey. From this date the weight just started falling off and I loved it. I finally felt back in control. From around August I had lost everything I had spare and life began to spiral downhill very quickly. I had no energy and felt dizzy, anxious and depressed all the time. I blamed EVERYTHING except the fact I was starving myself. Then on the 11th November I had probably the worse day of my life and it all came to a head. That was the day I decided I needed to sort things out. For a while I was stuck, I’ll call it a warm up recovery. Then on the 18th November I went all in. I am unwitting every single food rule I had ever written. I now know that I am on the path to full recovery and while it’s still really hard. I am so glad I made this decision. It just makes me so sad that so many can’t find the strength to commit and will never truly know what it feels like to be completely free.