I can’t believe I’m still writing to you. Honestly, you’re insane. I’m mentally and physically exhausted. I did eat a little bit ago. I don’t know if it constitutes as a binge, but it certainly wasn’t food I needed. I’m eating things I don’t even like. I’m hiding wrappers and sneaking around. I can smell the food on my fingers. That’s disgusting. Why am I reverting to this?
I’m just tired. I’m thinking of my ex-boyfriend, too, and that’s a huge indicator that I’m slipping. I literally just looked at a bunch of pictures of us…and now, of course, I want to call him. It’s been months. And I broke up with him. But both of our birthdays are coming soon, and weirdly, I’m finding that extremely triggering.
Breaking up with him was one of the best decisions I ever made for himself, and yet, I feel lonely right now…but, why don’t I want health? Why don’t I want happiness right now? Why don’t I want to continue moving forward?
Oh, and on that note: it still amazes me how people actually believe eating disorders are just diets, trends, attention-seeking fads, or even choices at all. Sure, there are reasons why I have what I have, but I can assure anybody that I didn’t fucking choose any of this.
A few weeks ago in class, my professor was discussing the challenges of working with eating disordered clients. Excuse my language, but no fucking shit. We over-complicate like it’s our jobs. One day, everything feels GREAT and we’re all RECOVERY, RECOVERY, RECOVERY. We’re on top of the world, and we think to ourselves, we got this. Next meal, everything is scary and out-of-control and triggering and it all feels hopeless. We’re known to be liars, manipulators, and mentally unstable. We’re also known to be charming, intelligent, and hyper-vigilant. We over-achieve, and we people-please. We like our rigidity, our black-and-white worlds, and our control. Oh God, we LOVE our control. We are completely disillusioned by our own distortions, and even though we fully realize it, we often feel like we cannot and will not stop.
We hate the bodies that others call beautiful. We fear the food we once ate with reckless abandon. We become prisoners of the mind and slaves to the disease. We try and we try and we try and it never feels good enough…we wonder what recovery will feel like, and we wonder if we will be the blessed warrior who makes it, or if we will be the drowning swimmer who falls through the cracks, living the same lie, telling the same story, until he or she slowly and painfully wilts away.
If someone had told me I would have developed an eating disorder, I would have laughed. Eating disorder? Not me. No way. I could have understood a mood or anxiety disorder or maybe even alcohol or drug dependency, as I was raised under the impression that one drink or hit could induce lifelong dependency. But an eating disorder? Please. I wasn’t that narcissistic. I once believed every one of those myths: that those with eating disorders were just seeking attention and had low-self-esteem, that they just needed to eat and/or stop throwing up, and that they were essentially stupid.
My ignorance is simply representative of our society, and it sickens me. No wonder people are afraid of treatment. No wonder recovery is such a scary term. No wonder so many professionals refuse to even work with eating disorders. We are a chaotic, unpredictable, erratic, and emotional bunch. For so long, I feared I wouldn’t be taken seriously. And now that I am being taken seriously, I fear that, too. I want the attention, and when I get it, I seek to isolate. I want recovery, and when I get a taste of it, I self-sabotage. I think I fully understand the ferocity that is my eating disorder, and then it turns around and stabs me.
Cunning, powerful, and baffling: the Anonymous community didn’t come up with those words for no reason.
I am weight-restored, in good physical health, and motivated, which puts me at a slight advantage for professional treatment, but at the same time, I can see how I am one frustrating individual to work with. I’m hyper-intelligent and analytical, but I struggle to even identify with my emotions. I am incredibly black-and-white with my progress. If it’s going well, I assure everyone it’s going AWESOME, and if it’s getting shaky, I assure everyone IT’S SO FUCKING DIFFICULT. Again, eating disordered individuals can be exhaustive.
And yet, I know I will work with these clients one day.
I don’t know when that will be, and it doesn’t matter right now, but I just know my recovery will guide someone else’s one day. And maybe that’s my motivation right now.
Because I GET IT. Because I’m living it. Day after day. I understand the ups and downs, the fears, the anxieties, the mood swings, the body bashing, the isolation, the overwhelming thoughts, the negative self-talk, the confusion, the pain, the questioning, the absolute, sheer bewilderment.
We all deserve someone who can unconditionally support and BELIEVE in us. There is a reason I am on this path that I am now.
The other day, I was thinking about this blog and its tremendous growth over the past few months since I made it public. I thought about revealing my identity because I felt like a fraud for hiding behind a screen. But, I thought about those future clients. The ones I want to work with. And I remembered why I have to stay anonymous. I’m beyond worrying if anyone in my personal life knows about my struggles, because many of them do. Some people who follow me on here are friends with me on Facebook, so they know more about me, and that’s cool, too. I am no longer ashamed of who I am.
But, because I will be emerging in the mental health sector as a therapist very soon, I simply can’t afford to have such raw information this accessible. Not while I’m this active in my disorder, anyway. Besides, deep-down, I know that coming out on a blog is just another way for me to seek validation and approval.
My ability to help others is far more sacred than any virtual eating disorder-related attention will ever be. Besides, all that attention can be a double-edged sword. It almost creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. Too often, we are put on a pedestal, and we often fall down a few notches just to PROVE to others that they were wrong for placing us there.
This was such a random post. I just intended to jot down a few words…I just need to go to bed.