Things I didn’t tell you about my eating disorder

Things I didn’t tell you about my eating disorder Featured Image

Sometimes talk is cheap. Sometimes talk is exactly what is needed.

A secret that you’ve carried for a long time, can start to weigh you down, tear you down at the edges.
Because there’s so much shame surrounding it, so few willing or able to listen to it.
“It must just be me. I wish I was normal like everyone else.”

Last week was National Eating Disorder Awareness week.
And the talk needn’t stop once the topic goes out of the limelight.

If I could go back in time and offer the 19-year-old me what I know now,
I would say –
Don’t change a thing. Keep going through what you’re going through.
Everything happens for a reason. Despite appearances to the contrary.

But

I often think
How much energy I might have freed, sooner
Had I found another voice somewhere, speaking through the shame
Explaining that it’s all going to be OK in the end.
That I’m not alone in this struggle
With weight, size, food, exercise, body image, self-worth, sense of value, sense of belonging.
That they’ve been through it too,
And they understand me and hold space for me
With complete lack of judgment.

That although many are suffering much more –
In places where there is war and conflict, grievous abuse against the weak and vulnerable
That although there are much more severe injustices and pain in the world,
That does not belittle the pain I am in.

Whether the pain is inflicted on you from the outside,
Or if the pain is created by your own hand
The latter is not invalidated simply because in theory you can stop it.
Because it’s really not as simple as that –
Don’t you think that if those suffering could “just stop” their destructive behaviours,
That they would have done it by now?

It’s been over 6 years since my last binge and purge.
Seemingly a lifetime ago, but really not long at all.
The subtle tugs to return to bulimia still happen sporadically,
Even when my life looks a lot different to how it used to.

The roots go deeper than appearances.
Never judge by appearances.

I hope I can be that voice I searched for,
For someone else going through an eating disorder right now, just one person.
For someone struggling with any degree of disordered eating, just one person.
It makes no difference really, if your pattern is clinically recognized or not
The root is the same.

I understand you and I have zero shame for you. Zero.
You are valuable, you are seen, you are unconditionally worthy
And Life has big plans for you.

Maybe in hindsight you’ll see
That this is kind of like a bootcamp for the soul,
A training ground to prepare you for a bigger capacity –
To love, connect, create, contribute
And give so much value back to the world.

But for now, I hope you can hear me when I say –
That it’s all going to be OK in the end.
You are not alone in this struggle
With weight, size, food, exercise, body image, self-worth, sense of value, sense of belonging.
I’ve been through it too.

And I understand you and hold space for you
With complete lack of judgment.

#NEDAwareness

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