A common misconception about eating disorders is that they are a choice. By no means would I have wanted to put myself through the pain and suffering that I have endured. I didn’t choose to drop out of school or have to take a leave from running. I did it because I had no choice. My eating disorder consumed me. I like to think of it as a different entity within me. I refer to him as “ED”, ED my eating disorder. ED is a bitch. He’s a loud voice that likes to scream in Caitlin's head and sometimes she can't distinguish ED's thoughts from her own. He's controlling and manipulative and only thinks of himself. ED was jealous and envious, he was a perfectionist. In ED’s eyes Caitlin was a piece of shit and he told her so. So ED thinking he was a hero, was going to do Caitlin a favor and put her out of her misery. Caitlin (aka me lol) suffered with severe anxiety and depression. She hid this from most people because she was embarrassed and didn’t want people to think of her this way. On the outside Caitlin did her best to act as happy as possible and make the world believe everything was going right, when in fact her world was falling apart.
One thing most people don’t know about eating disorders is they act as a coping mechanism. ED did want to help Caitlin, but he did it in all the wrong ways. At one point in Caitlin’s life ED served as a way for Caitlin to deal with her emotions, emotions that were so strong and overwhelming that Caitlin didn’t know what to do with them. Caitlin, like many other victims of eating disorders could no longer deal with the pain that she was experiencing in her life so she transferred the pain in her mind to pain that she conflicted on her body. ED quickly became addicting. The eating disorder was no longer even about the food, but instead about the emotional pain behind it.
ED liked to stay isolated. Much of his actions were done in private. Caitlin kept ED a secret. She was embarrassed because she felt as if she was weak because she no longer had control over her mind or body. She didn’t want to believe ED was real; however, ED became too strong. ED was a secret that was slowly killing Caitlin and she hid him with her smile.
At one point in a victim’s life their eating disorder served a purpose. They used it as a coping mechanism to “distract” themselves from the emotional pain they were experiencing. Many victims with eating disorders have suffered traumas in their life. They use ED behaviors to try to deal with the overwhelming pain that has been inflicted upon them. Most behaviors are done in private. Some effects are not noticeable to the public while others are more obvious. No matter the case, each person is carrying a heavy burden within themselves that needs to be resolved. Although it may appear so, no one has control over ED. It may last with a person for a few months, a few years, or for the rest of their life. It is simply not something they can “get over”. It is a secret that is killing them.