Think of It This Way: Your Eating Disorder Is An Abusive Relationship. And You Need to Get Out NOW

eating disorder - close up image of female with long dark hair mostly covering her face, looking down with eyes closed

There’s a constant battle that goes on inside the head of a person recovering from an eating disorder.

Me: I don’t want to do it. Just leave me alone
ED: But why? Just do it. You are great at it.
Me: But, I don’t want to do it. I am tired and it hurts me
ED: Come on, once you do it, you’ll feel so much better. You know that…

The Eating Disorder as a Relationship

I tend to sit back and think about this “relationship.” How and why I have held on so long to the eating disorder? It’s taken so much from me. And caused me so much pain, loss of friendships and development of health issues. Yet, I continue to go back to this “safe haven”.

These lyrics describe it perfectly for me:

She laid her heart and soul right in your hands

And you stole her every dream and you crushed her plans

She never even knew she had a choice and that’s what happens

When the only voice she hears is telling her she can’t

So what made you think you could take a life

Stupid Boy by Keith Urban

The Eating Disorder as an Abusive Relationship

If I were to write out the pros and cons, you would say I was in an abusive relationship. And sadly, it’s true. Eating disorders manipulate you, control you, and put you down. But then there is that little sense of comfort, control, perfection that comes through.

ED is like a terrible ex-boyfriend that refuses to go away.

Here’s what I mean…

As I sit there mindlessly binging or “black out binging” as I call it, I can’t help but just cry on the inside.

Why am I doing this? What is this going to do?  It wont fix anything, it will only hurt me in the end.

All of those thoughts pour through my mind as I sit and think of all the things I want to say in regards to my anxiety, opinion, and observations. Yet, I can’t.

So I shove down another bowl of cereal. Problem #1 is “resolved.”

I then frantically look for the box and shove another bowl down. This time it’s a bigger portion. Problem #2: “solved.”

Next comes bowl 3 and 4 until the entire box is done. I rip up the box to hide the evidence and think “I will buy another tomorrow so no one notices.”

But I’m not done… Next comes something easy to get down – or that will come back up. I’m going to get “rid” of all my problems.

As I talk in my head of what would be next, I realize that I’m eating cookies that I had no idea I was eating. Well there goes a box of those. Again, no one will notice when I replace it.

Finally, I’m sick.

I feel like I’m going to throw up. Which makes sense, because I just ate enough food to feed an army.

So I sit there and hold my stomach and cry, yelling at myself.

Why did you do this? What is wrong with you? Stop doing this! It won’t help. It just hurts you.

Next thing I know, I am throwing up because I just cannot hold that amount down. I lay on the floor in the fetal position and cry. I have let ED win again and I have failed today.

It’s fighting time, warriors

Thoughts run through my head of what will I do tomorrow to make up for it. I instantly think of my workouts, meal plan, restrict, exercise, drink water and repeat.

But this will not fix the real problem.

Next time, we have to stand up to ED and say, “WE ARE BETTER THAN THIS.” Once we shut that voice up and allow it to just be a little thought with no meaning, we can work on being free.

Our life should not be defined by this voice, as we are too beautiful to fixate on this awful relationship. We deserve more in life. We deserve freedom from ED and happiness.

ED has stolen way too much in this world and I pray that all us warriors can stand up and fight. We will find another thing, person or place that will fulfill our hearts and souls. No matter what, you are not alone.

Please keep your head up warriors and know that you deserve more in this life.

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