Eating Disorder Recovery · Uncategorized

I forget I’m hurting them too

For a while I’ve been telling myself that my actions don’t impact on anyone else and that this life that I’m living has nothing to do with anyone else. I guess when I stopped actively trying to kill myself this way, I stopped thinking that anyone else had anything to be worried about. I forget that I still have the ability to hurt those that love me just by the fact that I’m not healthy yet. Earlier on today my sister came round to see my mum, which in itself is not actually unusual as she is here most days. They were in the kitchen talking and after I had finished what I was doing I went through to say hello. Now, we don’t really follow many pleasantries when it comes to how people interact in this house. If someone has a thought or a question, then either they just come out and say it, or they get someone else to find out the information for them (usually my mum). Anyway, I walked in and after saying some random things about a Facebook post, she told me that she has been up till midnight last night looking through my photos and Facebook. When I asked her why, she said she didn’t know but that they had made her cry. I didn’t really know how to respond to that as I didn’t know what could have been the cause of those tears. Then it came “You just looked so much better. You looked healthy”. I wasn’t sure what to do, should I apologise? make a blasé comment? say nothing? I went with the latter and said nothing. I know which photos she was talking about and yet instead of seeing someone who is healthy in those photos, all I see is someone who is too fat. How can I rewire that thought process? I look and I try to find something in that person that I want to be again and my initial reaction is that there is nothing, but when I really think about it…there is so much and thinking about it is just too painful. In those photos, I might not have been happy, but I wasn’t engaging in behaviours as much, my body was something that could keep going and going just like any other 18 year olds. It didn’t feel like it would fail. I look at my recent photos of the ones in Paris and I see someone who has the same smile but everything else is different yet I still see someone who is excessive. I am working on changing that but I just thought that all the heartache from my Eating Disorder was felt only by me.

Throughout most of my experience with my Eating Disorder, it has not really been acknowledged in my family. We don’t talk about it much. Ever since I left treatment, other than a few murmurings that it looks like I’ve lost a little weight every now and again, it is something that we pretend doesn’t really exist as a disease that’s sucking the life out of me, but rather as a quirk or part of my personality which has become the norm. No one challenges me in this family and I think part of that means that I don’t think I’m hurting anyone else with it. Maybe though I am hurting the people around me still and I just don’t want to acknowledge it. It’s hard to see though isn’t it? I tell myself it’s enough and that my family should think its enough that at the very least I’m not actively starving myself anymore. It should be enough that I can get up and walk around and get from the beginning of the day to the end…but then who wants only that for their family member? I wanted to be better for me because I didn’t think anyone else gave a crap whether or not I got to a healthy weight. Therefore all this time I have been refusing to get to that healthy weight I felt like the only person I was letting down was myself, and well, that didn’t matter so much. Now though, I may have to rethink that. It’s possible that I am still causing pain in my family and that by refusing to let go, I’m prolonging their pain as well as my own. That doesn’t really feel fair to me. Some part of me just wants to be able to have a frank and open conversation about all this. I need people to be honest with me because without that I think I could waste years living in this state. I want people to call me up on my shit or tell me when I’m hurting them. I want to know how their feeling, what their thinking. I am so tired of carrying it alone and feeling like an island in my family. Sometimes I just need someone else to tell me that what I’m doing is not ok because there are times when the Anorexia hooks its little claws into my brain and tells me that it is.

I need to stop trying to accommodate this eating disorder if I want to be free from it and not just spend the rest of my life managing it.

I hope you have all had a day that has been good to you.

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2 thoughts on “I forget I’m hurting them too

  1. Wow. Seems like you’ve come to an important conclusion. It probably hurt you to make this discovery, but I think it’s a sign of progress that you see how your disorder affects others. At least my experience is that anorexia made my thouhgts circle around myself far too much, and it seems like you’re moving away from that place! Moving more toward who you really are in your heart, I would say – toward your real identity.

    1. I would completely agree with you there. The anorexia did make my thoughts centre around myself. Somehow the consequences of those actions, either to myself or anyone else didn’t matter as long as I was meeting the demands that it placed on me. I hope my true identity is beginning to come back because I know that the person who I was with the ED is not who I truly believe that I am.

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