“You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don’t try.” ~Beverly Sills
Before I became a teenager, I developed a characteristic and a disease that went hand-in-hand: I was a perfectionist, and I had an eating disorder.
While my perfectionism was helpful in succeeding at things such as school and sports, the same perfectionism helped to fuel a dangerous relationship with my own body.
Fortunately, I received treatment in high school, and I learned to handle my issues related to anorexia and bulimia in healthy ways. This process was neither easy nor simple, but I felt cared for in the arms of recovery. It wasn’t until years later, when I was out of college, that the safety of recovery felt far away.
Felt far away, I should emphasize. It was tantalizingly within reach, but I was reluctant to seek its grasp. This reluctance was based on my fear—not my fear of asking for help (I had done that before, after all), but my fear of failing at recovery.
Since I relapsed into an eating disorder in my twenties, going back into treatment felt daunting—I let myself go too long in sickness and poor health, physically and emotionally, because of my trepidation.
Certainly, one fear was bas…