It can be hard to explain but when you have an eating disorder sometimes it can feel like your friend. It is difficult to give up because it has become part of you. You could compare it to being in a bad romantic relationship or putting up with a friend who does not treat you nicely, all because you can’t imagine life without them there. It has become routine, a habit, familiar.
The eating disorder developed because we did not feel whole ourselves. It literally fills that hole inside of us. That is why it can be scary to let it go. We have isolated ourselves from our family, friends and the outside world. When we get scared or anxious it can give us a source of calm and comfort. As I said the other day, eating disorders are our coping mechanism in a world where we feel out of control. To simply give it up would mean we would feel lost again. We would have to face the real wounds that are causing us so much pain and if someone is not ready to face that, there is nothing you can say or do to change it. Otherwise the person suffering is only trying to please you. They are not invested. They are not ready and they will not succeed. In fact they may be even more against recovering than ever before because it is being forced on them.
But every day is a struggle. Every day from the minute you wake till the minute you go to bed, you are calculating how much you have consumed verses how much you have worked off. Until the only thing consumed is your soul. You have to reach a breaking point. A moment in time where you catch yourself being completely insane and you realise you simply can not live like this anymore. For me it was the day that I burnt off 800 calories doing cardio and I sat down to a “dinner” that was one sad looking tiny fillet of salmon containing 190 calories. There was no potatoes, rice, peas, carrots, nothing. Just a plate with a piece of salmon on it. Earlier that day I had snapped at my then boyfriend for taking a piece of pineapple out of my bowl. How much did that piece weigh? It’s not like I can get another piece. It could weigh more, so now I have even less food. All because he took it. Snap, Snap, SNAP! The look on his face broke my heart. He didn’t deserve it. I was becoming a mess of a human being. It was the wake up call I needed (because fainting, falling, heart palpitations and feeling my body shutting down wasn’t enough), I finally decided I needed to recover. Counselling really was the key. I went for four years. It took over a year and a half of weekly sessions before I left without crying. It wasn’t simply a few tears either, it was a full on sob fest I continued at home. Without my eating disorder I was left open, exposed and raw to all my emotional problems.
This is where the magic happens. You have to ask yourself “Who am I” then you are opened to find out. You start looking at your life and yourself clearly. It is like a fog has been lifted. You see things for what they are. The good, the bad and everything in between. You start asking yourself questions about who you want to be and where you want to go in life. What will make you happy and how can you achieve it. After years of being lost, you finally find yourself and over time you become one of the strongest and most confident people you know. If the eating disorder can’t stop you, nothing or no one will. This wont be easy but while you are going through it and noticing your own strength, you end up welcoming challenges because you know that they are there to grow you into the person you were always destined to be.
That really is this topic in a nutshell. I could write more to try and make a “more impressive” post but it would only dilute the quality. Yes gaining weight is essential to not dying, but the only way to do that in a healthy way, to maintain the weight gain while not hating ourselves and become happy with life is to go to counselling or at the very least to be able to talk to friends and family about our struggles without feeling judged. We have a right to our feelings. There is no wrong way to feel. If people can not support you, find new people. Remember, It has to be when we are ready. It has to be for us, or the will to succeed will not be there and we will relapse. Until tomorrow, keep talking, keep breaking the silence ~ Love Roxy xx