8 things you know if you’ve had an ED…?
The Metro has run an article listing 8 things you’ll only know if you’ve overcome an eating disorder. There were actually 9 things on the list, and I’d be lying if I said I agreed with everything, so here are my thoughts on what they had to say.
1) Although you’ve managed to structure your mind into thinking differently to how it did before, there’s still some things that stick.
Yep. Like what hard work it was living with an eating disorder. Not, as suggested, that you’ll still obsessively count calories. When you get on with the serious business of living, not even subconscious calorie counting really has meaning anymore.
2) Eating big meals can be scary.
No they’re not. Because you don’t eat big meals, you just eat meals. And when you’re full, you stop. Size no longer comes into it.
3) You’ve been accused of still having an eating disorder.
You can eat a perfectly ‘normal’ diet but remain very disordered in how you think and feel – and no one can see that because eating disorders are about much more than what’s visible to others. As difficult as it can be when someone points the finger; remember it’s usually done out of love and concern.
4) You find it hard to eat in public.
Not necessarily, in fact some people find eating in public is actually easier – and sometimes feels safer – than eating alone. Don’t let anyone tell you so definitively what to find difficult.
5) You will have slip-ups.
Yes – I’ll go with this one. But let’s be clear that a slip-up is because we’re human, and sometimes the only way to understand what works for us through all this is a process of trial and error that doesn’t always end well. This is exactly why we have tomorrow to try again.
6) We may still be scared of certain foods.
Again, not necessarily, but there may be foods you realise you don’t actually like. You might spend the duration of your eating disorder afraid of fast food, and when you give it a go (possibly to prove a point) you come to the conclusion that actually, you just prefer the taste, texture and health benefits of fresh, home cooked meals. That doesn’t mean you’re scared of it, it means you’ve formed an opinion.
7) We’re more grateful for support than you’ll ever know.
Yes, always. And there’s often a moment when you wonder why you didn’t ask for help earlier. But sometimes it’s hard to show we’re grateful, because letting go of an eating disorder is difficult, and there are moments when we don’t like you for knowing.
8) We’re sorry.
It’s ok to be sorry for any pain and upset that friends and family may have experienced during the course of your eating disorder, but it’s also important not to go to extremes with this. It happened, but it was an illness and not a deliberate attempt to hurt everyone you love, and so going too far with feeling guilty is not helpful for anyone. Be kind to yourself, and learn to forgive.
And the rogue extra one:
9) And we’re thankful.
Thankful for support, yes, but wasn’t that number 7)? Instead, I say be thankful you got through it, be thankful you’re one of life’s survivors, be thankful your body is resilient, and if you can – be thankful you went through it at all; it’s made you who you are now, the person you’re learning to love – and that matters.
I’ve deliberately chosen to ignore the opening line of the article, which was ‘Okay, you never really overcome an eating disorder’… but if you want to read the original list in full you can find it here – http://metro.co.uk/2016/02/08/8-things-youll-only-know-if-youve-overcome-an-eating-disorder-5668829/
Eating Disorder Awareness Week 2016 is from February 22-26th.