This is a song I dedicate to anyone who is struggling with an eating disorder.
A recent difficult conversation encased with myths and misconceptions about Ed (eating disorder) gave me the momentum to write this entry, along with the fact it’s February which is Eating Disorder Awareness month. I’ve written about my journey with an eating disorder along with what recovery looks like for me in previous entries. However, I haven’t talked about the scary deadly complications which can result after spending years with this deceptive illness.
Since knowledge and education are the first steps toward changing misconceptions, I will list myths then share my personal experience with the lessons I am continually learning on my path toward recovery.
*Eating disorders are a choice: I would never ever choose to have an eating disorder and willingly go through the daily hellish mental torture it involves. The underlying causes of eating disorders are multi-dimensional. Science has shown biological, social, behavior, and emotional factors influence these deadly disorders.
*Eating disorders are about appearance and wanting to “look good”: While media portrays the perception that those with disordered eating just want to look a certain way, this is a complete fabrication. Preoccupation with food and weight may be the on the surface as a symptom, however, deeper issues of not having control over some aspect of life may be at the core of the dieting behaviors.
*Eating disorders are noticeable by how the person looks: Even at a more medically stable weight, I still struggled with the negative thoughts from the eating disorder. Weight gain is only a small part of recovery.
*Eating disorders are simply about food and weight: For me, when I am in the midst of a relapse, I may fixate on food and weight, however, this is a sure sign something else is going on mentally or emotionally.
*Eating disorders are only caused by family triggers or stressors: While these components may play a role in developing an eating disorder, many other factors such as biology, social pressures or personality traits can impact whether this deadly disease begins.
*Eating disorders are easily cured: interventions/treatments are the first steps toward wellness, but it takes a multi-layered approach of therapy, medical care, nutritionists and possible psychiatric interventions.
*Eating disorder cure involves just eating more or less food: Food is only part of the battle. The war is won when health is attained in the forms of the mind, body, and soul.
*the eating disorder battle is unable to be won: It’s a battle I have been fighting since age 13. I haven’t given up on recovery. Despite many relapses, I believe I will be all-around well someday.
*Eating disorder recovery only involves weight restoration: During my multiple trips in and out of various treatment settings, for me I have learned recovery is a little bit about weight gain and more about self-acceptance, emotional regulation and relearning healthy coping mechanisms.
Do what you can to promote healthy body image through your actions and what you say. This involves no fat shaming, negative talk about food or weight, specifically numbers which may be triggering to someone in recovery.
Be well. Until next time,