A Wild Ride This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

February 17, 2016

Recovery from an eating disorder is like a never-ending game of chutes and ladders. You spend so much time and effort climbing up a ladder that you are exhausted when you finally reach the top. Then all of a sudden something happens and you fall back down a slide and end up deeper into the disorder than you were before. I’m not going to lie or sugarcoat it, recovery is probably the most difficult challenge you will have ever faced, and it’s a fight that will drain you emotionally and physically. You will inevitably have slips and lapses, it’s a part of the process,  but nothing can prepare you for the difficulty of clawing your way out of your first relapse.
There I was, months after my discharge from the clinic, my eating disorder urges and behaviors worse than they had ever been. I had hit an all time low and ultimately resigned to the idea that recovery just wasn’t meant for me. I was sitting in class, my worn black journal opened across my desk as I recorded every bite I’d taken and counted up the calories. I was barely listening in class that day, so it’s a miracle that I even heard what my teacher said but I am so glad I did.
It was the tone of her voice that caught my attention, filled with conviction, a force behind her words which gave them so much power. She is so incredibly passionate about everything she does, horseback riding in particular. “When I started up riding again I was bucked off by my horse.” She told us. “But I did not give up because of it. I got right back on the horse and kept trying, and the horse bucked me off again and again but each time I fell down, I got back up. Now the same wild horse that threw me off, listens to me and does just what I ask of her. That’s how life works, you’ll get bucked off the horse and it will be hard but you can’t let yourself stay down, you have to keep trying. This can apply to anything in life not just riding, whenever life knocks you down you have to get back on that horse.”
Her belief in what she had said was so apparent that I couldn’t help but believe it too. I took her horse metaphor and applied it to my recovery. Yes, I had been thrown off the horse and fallen back into this self destructive cycle but that didn’t mean I couldn’t pull myself back out, I had done it before after all. My recovery has been a bumpy path full of unexpected twists and turns, and I have slipped up countless times but I had always gotten back up afterwards, no matter how long it took. This relapse would be no different, I was going to get back on board and tame the wild horse that was my eating disorder.






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ambivalentThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
May 22, 2016 at 11:17 pm
this is honestly inspiring.
 
midnightmetanoiaThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jun. 3, 2016 at 9:37 am
thank you so much! that makes me so happy to hear like you have no idea how much i smiled when i read that
 
ambivalentThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jun. 9, 2016 at 1:42 pm
No problem! Keep up the hard work and wonderful writing
 
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