I have recently been planning what I will be doing after university. My parents are being supportive of my decisions and wanting to help me find a good solution. However, I told them that I want to “figure it out alone”. When I told my Dad this, he replied saying “Sorry, but I don’t know what that means”.
At the time I was frustrated with his response. I thought he wasn’t listening to what I wanted and that he wasn’t even trying to understand. He just wanted to be right (sorry Dad). And although it pains me to say this… I think he was right on this particular occasion. We don’t need to do anything alone. Being alone is a horrible feeling.
Today also got me thinking that if I had to do things alone all the time, life would be a hell of a lot harder. People often say that only YOU can beat your eating disorder, but you don’t have to do it alone. I think this is so true. Only I can beat Ed. It is a part of me and unfortunately only I can fully destroy it. But if I didn’t have my friends and family on my side in this battle, the fight would be impossible.
I have been struggling a lot with body image recently. The self-hatred every time I look in the mirror is getting seriously painful and I would do anything for it to go away. I look forward to a day when I can look at myself in the mirror and love my body. I had told myself I would go to the gym today and because I was so tired after a week of living in the library I didn’t manage to get there this morning. It got to 7pm and the voices in my head were screaming at me to go. It was dinner time, it was a saturday night, and I couldn’t think of many worse things than going to the gym. But, I got my gym kit on ready to leave.
Seconds before leaving the house I took a second to properly think about what I was doing. I instantly got on my phone to contact my friend and talk it through. I knew deep down I was doing the wrong thing. She told me to take my gym kit off and not go. I am stronger than Ed. All I needed to do to prove it was change into some comfy clothes and start making dinner. I took some deep breaths and after 10 minutes of deciding what to do I managed to do the right thing. Although it felt like a failure, I know it was a victory.
As I was sat in my room in tears, trying to take off some stupid gym kit, I was reminded that I couldn’t fight this illness alone. And I am so lucky that I don’t need to. If it wasn’t for my friend S today, I would have gone to the gym and Ed would have got even louder.
People always say that Eating Disorders are a “family illness”. They don’t just affect the sufferer, it affects the family too. Well in my case, I think my eating disorder is a ‘family and friends illness’. I most definitely haven’t been Ed’s only victim over the past few years, and I can never thank my friends and family enough for sticking by me. If I were alone, I dread to think what my life could look like.