September 29, 2012

ED says don't listen to me

We all know that eating disorders whisper cruel lies to patients: I'll keep you safe, It's easier this way, no one can help you, it's not worth the pain.

The worst lie is: you're different. YOU are too stubborn, too scared, too far gone, too smart for anyone who might help; you aren't like other patients.

ED lies. You ARE different but your eating disorder isn't. You ARE unique and stubborn and scared and unwell and smart as hell but your eating disorder has none of that. Your eating disorder is dumb as a sharp stone: it only does one thing and it isn't even very original and clever about it. He just turns every thought against your authentic self. He doesn't know how to even do it artfully.

YOU do, but ED's only cleverness is in his being difficult for others to understand at first. But when we listen to what ED says, we can easily see that he only has one purpose: hurting you. He never does anything positive, he only offers ways to numb and shut down - not build or nurture. The cleverness is all you. The stubbornness is all you. The person you'll be without ED is glorious, unique YOU.

You know I don't ever use my blog the way I am right now, and you know I'm speaking to you. You know that I don't believe in begging, exhorting, encouraging, or platitudes to eating disorder sufferers. I believe in caregiving and family and not making patients have to do all the thinking. I believe strangers on the Internet can't do much without being there and DOING. But I do know that reaching out to those who can't really help you DOES mean something. It means you're afraid to ask it from those who can help. We've all been there. If someone ELSE reached out to you you would respond immediately and with respect and belief that all would be well. You wouldn't begrudge a bit of it. You wouldn't be angry or disappointed or judgmental: you'd just DO for them.

Put yourself into the caring and respectful hands of someone who CAN ACT. I know they are there. Let others do the thinking for a bit, and be stubborn later. And later, describe it to us so we can help others as well, together. Allow others to be there for you, imperfect as we are, and then be there for others with all of us together.

6 comments:

  1. May I "ditto" Laura's heartfelt and articulate words? Do not believe that you are a failure--relapse is a normal part of the recovery process. But failing to use your resources will certainly be a mistake. Please heed the advice of your friends in the know. We all care about you and believe in you.

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  2. ED's voice can make us feel we are worthless, and therefore deserve no help. ED's voice can make us think we not only don't deserve help, we don't need it. ED wants to isolate us and debilitate us. ED wants to rob us of our life. We must fight ED with every fibre of our being. Relapse is scary. Be brave, reach out. Reach out now. Do not berate yourself. Forgive yourself. You are not weak, you are courageous. I relapsed countless times. Today I am free. You can be free too. Reach out. Reach out now to those you know you can trust, and can guide you until you are sufficiently free of ED to guide your self.

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  3. Laura, you write: "I believe strangers on the Internet can't do much without being there and DOING. But I do know that reaching out to those who can't really help you DOES mean something. It means you're afraid to ask it from those who can help."

    Perhaps that is true for some, but it is support from people via the internet that has kept me hopeful and helped me to eat this past week when I have really been struggling with a dark mood. Had it not been for this support I probably wouldn't have gone out for a meal for my birthday tonight. Friends matter. Their support matters - and that includes internet friends offering support from a distance.

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  4. I think this may be my favorite of all your blog posts, Laura. I will most certainly buy you dinner when I meet you in person one day.
    Thank you.

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    Replies
    1. Simply perfect. You have such a deep understanding of the anorexic's experience as evidenced through your words.

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  5. Thank you -Cate

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