Today I had an art therapy class and the image attached is what I drew. Let me explain the two sides:
Left hand side: Life with ED
To me, living with an eating disorder is like living in a bubble. The bubble is in the world, there are people and life going on outside it, but you can never really connect with it yourself. As long as you’re with ED, you are in a bubble. Inside this bubble everything is grey and dull. You have moments of happiness and moments of sadness, but it isn’t <em>real</em> happiness and <em>real</em> sadness. Because in this bubble you loose touch with true emotions. You also have such low self esteem and such little care for yourself whilst you are under Ed’s control, and this is why I have represented myself with no bodily features… just a mere figure of a person. A shadow.
Right hand side: Life without ED
On this side of the page everything is clearer. There is no more grey. Your feet are firmly on the ground and you are a part of the world. You can experience the sun and life around you. You can connect with people, become close to others and be a part of normality again. You take care of yourself and look after yourself. Like on the left hand side of the page, there is happiness and sadness, but unlike the left hand side, you can actually experience these emotions clearly and they are real. You have freedom.
I am sure that if you showed this image to anyone, eating disorder or not, and didn’t explain anything behind the image, but simply asked them: If you could spend one day in either one of these worlds, which one would it be? No one in their right mind would ask for a day on the left hand side of the page.
Please note: The stick men are in no way a representation of body image/size…Just stick men!