Instead, the duality of the ED and recovery can perhaps be illustrated in something I once wrote about how I see anorexia as a box. It is simultaneously a safe space, like little Midge's soft igloo that she sits inside, which functions as a retreat from the scariness and sadness of the world.
But that safety comes at a price: it's isolating; it's restrictive; it means that I've never allowed anyone to get close enough to me for me to know love or to have my own children. Retreating into the safety of her igloo leaves Midge a spectator to life in our house rather than a participant, just as I feel as though I witness everyone else's life without ever truly being able to experience the rawness of waking up each morning and truly living.
Recovery would mean being brave enough to step outside ... and stay there. The most positive way of looking at the past would be to say that each time that I've been into hospital and progressed through refeeding and rehab, I've grown a bit more used to being out of my safe space. And I have to keep taking those steps until, one day, the outside world is a safe place too.