Saturday, March 22, 2014

Living with an Eating Disorder

So I decided that I wanted to make this blog about something a little more than writing. And I wanted to make it more personal.

Today, I want to talk about living with an eating disorder.

There's a lot of talk in the media these days about weight and beauty. Appearance seems to mean everything to everyone. So it's no wonder that so many different eating disorders exist, and that so many men and women suffer through them every single day.

I'm one of the millions of people who suffer from an eating disorder. Technically, I'm EDNOS, which means that I have an eating disorder that doesn't fit into the categories of bulimia, anorexia, or binge eating. The truth is that I have characteristics of all three of the different "major" eating disorders. There are times when I binge and then purge it--either through inducing vomiting or using laxatives. Other times I binge and carry enormous guilt for what I eat, even though I don't go through the process of trying to purge it. And there are even times when I will restrict my diet, when I'll go days with eating as little as possible.

Living with an eating disorder of any kind is like carrying a huge weight on your back all the time. It's a thousand pounds of fear and shame that never quite go away. Sometimes it might fade into the background for a while, but it never disappears. Even when you go into recovery, those thoughts and feelings are still there. And that's when things get dangerous because you have to be strong enough to avoid those words whispering in your mind.

Any kind of eating disorder is a disaster for your body. It tears apart your physiology and plays havoc on your mind. And it can have lasting effects that will carry through the rest of your life. Once you have an eating disorder, you will always have an eating disorder. But there are ways to overcome it, to live with it, to survive the negative impact that it has on the body and the mind.

My eating disorder has been a cycle since I was in seventh grade. There have been times when I could work through it and survive without the comfort and control that it brought me. Those were my periods of recovery. But then there have been times when I couldn't bear to gain an ounce and the only thing I could do was go back to the thoughts of my disorder.

Today, I am in a period of recovery. But that doesn't mean that I will never relapse. It does mean that, right now, I'm living.

I'm surviving.

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Edited by - Stephanie King