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I believe the thoughts will be around, more or less, for the rest of my life. I probably will have an altered body image (I still don't have an accurate one), slightly unhealthy notions around food (I still have a couple quirks with certain things), and will have to actively change my OCD thoughts away from food (at times) for the rest of my life.
BUT, I don't see myself as returning to the eating disorder lifestyle, physically or in action ever again. Even with the occasional thought, I can't see it affecting my behavior or causing a downward slide toward the eating disorder.
So yeah, I get why they call it lifelong. But I don't think I will have to fight it like I did ever again.
I also think that it will be an ongoing struggle. I have been doing well for years, but every time a stress filled situation pops up, I really have to focus on not falling back into my old patterns of behavior.
To me this will always be a lifelong struggle. I do well for a week and then relapse. I think my big problem is is that part of me isn't ready to let go. For so long its been part of who I am in a sense.
Big thanks to *Kiliki* for my GORGEOUS siggy! [/URL]
I feel like it will always be with me, but the more time passes where I'm actually, truly, happy, the less need I feel to exercise my butt off or to go a month on a week's worth of food. I mean, it made me miserable and sick.
I first went into a recovery program when I was sixteen, and I've relapsed at least once a year ever since, usually when I was losing control of a housing situation or job. What I've noticed is that, as I've gotten older and my friends have grown closer to me, the longer I go between those times that I feel the need to get that control back. I'm lucky enough to have two best friends with histories in anorexia and are mothers now, who are there to help me when I need them, and I think that that helps a great deal.
Stephanie has something, though. It's really hard to let go of something you've had for so long. I went through puberty with an eating disorder, and I'm just now learning how to live without one.
What's pushed me for a long time is knowing that I really wanted to be a mother, and now that I'm going to be one I feel like I've gotten a good kick in the right direction.