When I Start to Miss My Eating Disorder
Editor’s note: If you live with an eating disorder, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “NEDA” to 741741.
Last night I couldn’t sleep. I tossed and turned. I threw my bed sheets off of me then proceeded to wrap them tightly around my restless self. Something in my mind was not sitting right.
I was thinking of my eating disorder. I often think of my eating disorder. However, this time I was not just thinking.
I was missing my eating disorder.
As I lay awake, I did not want to accept these feelings. Lust. Longing.
Six years of my young life had been contaminated by the ferocious cycle of restricting and purging. Now, I am well down the road to recovery. It has been many months since I restricted or purged. I am now starting to ease out of therapy and ease into a life of confidence, self-love and happiness. I look back on my journey with my head high. I feel strong, and long rid of the disorder that once took hold of my life.
But sometimes, when I’ve had a bad day or when I can’t do something right, or when I’m just feeling down, I start to miss my eating disorder. I miss it like I miss old friends.
I miss the control that it gave me when I had no control over anything else.
I miss the distraction it provided when I was unhappy with other parts of my life.
I miss the strange sense of comfort it supplied that I could not get from anywhere or anyone else.
However, when I hear my eating disorder calling my name and tempting me back to it’s side, I think of all the things I don’t miss about it.
I don’t miss the strain it put on my relationships. I don’t miss the way my friends would look at me after I emerged from the bathroom after a meal. I don’t miss the look in their eyes – knowing what was wrong but never saying anything.
I don’t miss the excessive exercise. I don’t miss the stairs that led from my flat to the university and the appointment I had with them every night at 9 p.m.
I don’t miss the physical toll. I don’t miss the headaches, my scratched throat, feeling so dizzy I may faint every time I emerged from the bathroom. I don’t miss the several times my legs gave out beneath me because I was too weak and malnourished to carry myself.
I don’t miss the emotional toll. I don’t miss wondering why I was constantly so deeply depressed. I don’t miss the lies I told myself: “My eating disorder hasn’t made me depressed, it’s meant to be making me happier!”
I don’t miss the doctor’s visits. I don’t miss the nine psychologists I saw over those six years. I don’t miss retelling my “story.” I don’t miss the threats of hospitalization and the promises I would keep to avoid this fate.
I don’t miss “the best years of my life” that were not as they were advertised because of my disorder.
Recovery is hard.
Sometimes I still slip into an irrational frame of mind and I think purging after every meal will make me a better person. However, I have learned to recognize when my perception is warped. I don’t miss my eating disorder. My mind may be telling me that I miss it — but I don’t.
To overcome these feelings I think of all the things I don’t miss about my eating disorder. There’s a lot I don’t miss, and that’s enough to keep me going at times like these.
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