If you have an eating disorder you probably have days (maybe a lot of them, maybe one every trillion years) where you have an okay day. Your appetite may be better or you may be eating when your body tells you to eat. These types of days should be celebrated, but instead they stress me the hell out. When these days come around I start to question whether or not I even have a problem. “Maybe I made this all up in my head”. “What if I gave myself this problem”. “What if all the stress that I caused my parents and my friends was based off of a giant lie”. “What if I am being treated for something that I don’t actually have”.
When this happens to me I sweat pretty profusely and I find my favorite blanket and curl up in a tight ball. (okay, I exaggerated a little bit, but that is definitely what I feel like doing).
There are three reasons why I am so upset when this happens. 1) I feel like I am going completely insane. 2) I am afraid that if people see me eat like a normal human being, they won’t think that I have a problem or that I am completely recovered and don’t need anymore help. And finally, the big one, 3) My eating disorder, my safety blanket, what has, in a very sick way, been apart of me for so long, doesn’t even exist or is being taken away.
Let me address each of these very stressful, overwhelming, but horribly realistic concerns individually. 1) I am not crazy. I am not going completely out of my mind. I have been told time and time again that this is actually part of having an ED and going through recovery. Just keep reminding your self that. 2) sadly, there will always be people who will think that having an eating disorder means that you never eat one bite of food in your entire life (or other extremes). For example, one day I decided to tell a girl at my school that I struggled with an ED. She looked at me in shock and responded, “but I saw you eat a bag of popcorn yesterday from the vending machine, so you are obviously better now, right?” I had to stop myself from becoming violent with her and simply said that it is still a struggle for me. Then I chose to move on. Whether or not a certain person believes you or has a total understanding of what you are going through does not take away from your struggle. It doesn’t change anything. (Except it makes me want to learn karate so that I can skillfully annihilate them. I recommend that you resist such temptations) And finally. 3) even though ED is a total douche bag and a half, I don’t really know what to do with myself when he is gone. He’s familiar. When I have these days (the ones where I sweat profusely) I feel like he doesn’t exist, and I fail to see that in ED’s absence, who I truly am is making a comeback.
So they next time you have an okay day, you can panic, you can grab your blanket, and you can pic yourself a nice corner, but then try to tell yourself that in this moment ED is gone and there is now room for you.