I’d like to forewarn you about this post. It’s hard to read. It’s challenging. It’s going to hurt. It’s going to make you angry. It might make you cry. It might hurt your feelings. And if it does, I am sorry. But you know what? Eating disorders make me mad. They are unjust. You don’t DESERVE to have an eating disorder. You are so much more VALUABLE than this. And meant for much, much more than what the ED provides. I hope I’ve managed to say all of this in a somewhat loving way though. It’s my intention. It’s a bit of tough love. And I hope it not only challenges, but also encourages.
Eating disorders lie.
We know this because that’s how we all got hooked in in the first place, right? We looked in the mirror and fell through it and ever since then, we’ve never managed to find our way back out. The eating disorder lied and it became YOU, defined YOU and it kept its grip firmly on you – and it will continue to until you choose to pull away. Until YOU make the decision (although difficult) to crawl on your knees through the shards of broken glass. Yes, it’ll hurt. You’ll cut your knees. You’ll be left with scars in your heart and mind, perhaps for the rest of your life. But absolutely NO ONE, no one at all, is able to jump through that mirror and pull you out – they themselves will get pulled down in the process.
But why would we choose to leave our safe little eating disordered cocoon that has taken us so damn long to create? Why would we choose to pull away from something that’s given us so much? Distracted our thoughts, caused others to compliment us, given us a sense of superiority because we have self-control. It’s solved (albeit short-term) every emotional problem we’ve ever had. Stuff being dizzy and fainting and all the health consequences that the ED brings – stuff the fact it means we might not be able to have children one day. Stuff the fact that it’s hurting every single person around us in the process. Because the good things that come from the ED make it worth it, right? It makes up for everything we’re lacking. We don’t need to be cool or smart or funny. We are allowed to be awkward and weird because we have an eating disorder. The ED has our best interests at heart. Right?
Your eating disorder will never tell you the truth. You will never be good enough for it. You can never do enough to please it; it just asks for more and more and more. It will beat you over your head, time and time again about what a piece of crap you are. It will deprive you of so much goodness and so much freedom. It will whisper in your ear endlessly; a constant reminder of your worthlessness. The ED is deceptive and manipulative and untrustworthy. The ED is selfish. It exists within itself and for itself. Let me be blunt here: it doesn’t care about you at all.
The ED will keep its grip on you like this: it will lie. It will tell you people want you to recover because they “just want to make you fat.” It will tell you that you don’t have time to recover, you have a life to be living and good results from your work to be achieving and people to be impressing. The ED will cause YOU to lie to your friends and family.. It will make YOU deceptive. It will tell you how wrong the world is and how right IT is. The ED will change your values. The ED will tell you that you need it to be cared for, to be valuable. To be loved.
The eating disorder will tell you that you need it to be loved and let me tell you this: the eating disorder is wrong.
But the good news is this: we have a choice. We can choose to stay in this abusive relationship with the eating disorder. We can choose to give it power. Heck, we can choose to let it win. No, I KNOW it feels like there’s no choice. That it’s compulsion. That it’s a part of us; it makes us who we are.
Or we can choose to walk away, despite the difficulty and the struggling and its deception. We can realise our value before God and before others and choose LIFE. Choose to live. Choose to be free.
The ED isn’t holding the key to unlock the door for you. It’s on the ground. Bend over and pick it up.