One of the biggest things we struggle with is the fact that there are so many people in the world who just don’t “GET IT.” If you have an eating disorder, you understand this fully. And this can become such a hindrance in recovery, because we want to be heard, listened to and understood. Sometimes this can only truly be felt by others who are going through a similar struggle, or by women who have been there already.
I am pleased to share with you a wonderful blog post by Lauren from Healing For Eating Disorder.com. According to Lauren: One of my clients put this together and I freaking love it (thank you SO much for allowing me to share this Jen!!)! She shared this with her husband and it created such a deeper level of understanding, compassion and opened the door for conversations she didn’t even imagine.Our hopes in sharing this with you is so that you can share this article with your own loved ones, so that maybe they can understand just a little bit more. This article can help you bridge that gap with those in your life who you really want to connect with more and have them understand you on a deeper level. Know that when you DO share this, that it opens the door for an authentic conversation, so GET READY for your relationships to improve and communication barriers to be busted open– all you have to do is stay open, allow yourself to be vulnerable and share from the heart.
Things a Person with an Eating Disorder Wants You to Know by Jen L
My eating disorder is the only way I know how to cope with day to day life.
ED is the only constant in my life, the only thing which is unchanging regardless of what external events happen. ED is the only guarantee, the only certainty, the only thing loyal to me throughout everything that comes my way
I don’t know who I am or what I’m all about. I struggle to see my purpose or value.
I have no idea who I am but I have a very clear picture of who I don’t want to be.
I desperately want to be loved and accepted but I believe that no one, including God, could possibly find worth or value in me.
I go to bed some nights and say to God that I would be ok if He chose for me not to wake up tomorrow.
I have no idea how to forgive myself. I believe that everyone’s flaws and shortcomings should be forgiven except for mine.
Sometimes even though I am smiling – the ED voices are screaming and degrading me in my mind!
Without the mask of my eating disorder, I don’t really know who I am or who I could be.
I want desperately to be happy – I have known happy moments but cannot imagine what a life of happiness looks like.
I want to share my pain, sadness and ED thoughts, but I don’t want you to shoulder my pain and my burden so I pretend that everything is perfect!
There are so many things I wish I could say to you, but the fear of judgement and rejection silences me before I can even open my mouth.
Sometimes I want nothing more than for you to listen so that I know that I have been heard. I do not want your advice, your suggestions, or even your words … I just want to know that despite what I share, you will still be here tomorrow.
Honestly, I want and need your help but I have no idea how to ask or even tell you what I want and need.
At times the weight of my sadness is too heavy for any human to carry.
I hate myself because it is easier than allowing someone else to hate or reject me first.
I’m deathly afraid of growing up and dealing with all the things a grown-up must think about, even though I am already an adult.
I have spent my whole life trying to be someone else because I cannot stand the feeling of my own skin. I hate myself with a passion and treat myself in ways that I would never treat anyone else. No one could judge or berate me more than I do.
I wish that I knew how to love and accept myself. If I did, all of the hatred, self-sabotage, negativity and doubts would stop.
I care about you more than I could ever express, but am so afraid that you will decide that you cannot do this anymore and be forced to leave.
I have never learned how to feel or process emotions. The way I move through my feelings is to never let them surface in the first place.
I am paralyzed because I don’t know how to cope, feel or breathe without my eating disorder.
I’m scared that this could someday kill me and at the same time, I am also afraid that it won’t.
I am so afraid of losing this battle – but I think I am more afraid of succeeding.
I am so ashamed of who I am and what I do on a daily basis just to survive.
Beautiful is not a word that I would use to describe anything about me – but I can see the beauty within most everyone else!
When I look back in regret or remember something I did wrong – in the memory I am always fat and ugly.
My head is a scary place to be so I keep moving and doing so that I do not have to be alone with my thoughts.
I am always in a state of obsession. My mind never shuts off. My ED is ALWAYS berating me for something. I have loops and tracks that play over and over and over about all the things I did wrong, should have done better, should be doing or what tomorrow might bring.
I never have a moment of pure peace or silence in my head.
I would give anything to get out of my head and into my body when I am intimate with my husband.
I avoid situations that require me to be vulnerable because I am too afraid to let anyone in.
Often I am not sure how to react so I wait for your reaction to know how I should feel.
Although I may appear insensitive, I am really very perceptive.
I feel like a complete failure as a wife and mother. I am terrified of not being good enough at anything.
Most times I feel like I don’t belong anywhere.
I am generally not trusting of anyone or anything. I do not know what trust looks like.
I don’t even know myself – and am not sure I want to. I wish that I didn’t hate myself but at the same time, I don’t know how it would feel if I didn’t.
I feel larger than life. I hate taking up space. I try to make myself into a small enough ball so that I can disappear.
I wear my weight like bulky and heavy armor.
I only pretend to be naïve because I’m too scared to show you just how serious and deep I can really be.
I need help believing in myself because I fear that I will never measure up.
I hold back from full recovery as an excuse to not chase after my goals and dreams because I am so afraid of failing and letting others down.
I don’t like my eating disorder but at the same time I do not know how to dislike it either.
I always feel like a burden and if I share – then I feel like I am dumping my struggles on you. I desperately want and need your support, but I feel too guilty to ask.
I have big dreams and wish that I believed enough in myself to make them happen.
For years, I wanted someone to know my secret, hopping they’d stop the pain and hurting because I didn’t know how or care enough to stop myself.
I am extremely insecure … I have no confidence in myself or my abilities. I struggle to believe in myself so even the slightest criticism seems like a personal attack.
Sometimes your words and actions hurt me even though you were not intending to.
Even when it doesn’t look like it, I am trying, and I’m doing my best in the moment. I really want to get better … I just do not know how to even start somedays.
I want to make a difference in the world but I fear that I have nothing of value to share.
I hate being needy and yet I so long to be taken care of.
Even though I do not believe in me – it helps me to know that you believe in me.
I don’t feel that I deserve your unconditional love yet I don’t want you to give up on me either.
I love you even when you don’t think I do and I’m so, so sorry for all the times I lied about my eating disorder and made you worry about me.
What I want most is for you to tell me that you love me just the way I am … I pray that someday, I can learn to believe it.
There you have it! Print this out and share with your partners, loved ones and friends so they can understand a bit more about where you are coming from and this massive battle that you are fighting.
Sending SOOOO much love and healing energy your way, beautiful soul!!
In light + love,