“I think that our eating disorders become us, and they consume so much of who we are that all we can feel is the eating disorder. You lose all joy and laughter and love. The eating disorder is happy, and as it grows happier, it becomes stronger until we think its us who is happy, but its not. And when you go into treatment, little by little your eating disorder loses control and it becomes miserable. And you're so used to feeling through your disorder that you think you're miserable, but its just your E.D. crying and yelling, and slowly you start to notice how you feel, not your E.D. And you feel happy. You will feel happy again, which is why you can't give up. Starve your disorder. Not your body.”
As someone who has struggled with an eating disorder, this quote means a lot to me. It was given to me by someone who I was in treatment with; all of us girls received it and a friendship bracelet. This is one of the truest quotes about an eating disorder, and from what I have noticed, it helps those who have never struggled understand what it is like. When you have an eating disorder, you are actually consumed by it. You think about it constantly throughout the day. Food, appearance, clothes, body checking. Everything regarding your disorder is racing through your mind. It becomes hard to concentrate on relationships, school work, and even living daily life because you are so hyperfocused on your disorder. We often believe if we become our ideal image of thin, then we will finally be happy but that is not true.
No matter how much weight you lose you will never be satisfied and you will continue to push yourself until you can’t push anymore. Treatment becomes part of your everyday life, trying to reverse the thoughts you have going on in your head. Little by little remove your obsessions with thigh gaps, veganism, weight loss, only eating vegetables. Whatever your obsessions and system of losing weight may be, treatment takes it away from you little by little. Soon the voice in your head telling you not to eat becomes angry. The voice that you think is you, but it is not. The voice is now angry so you are angry. This can turn into sadness, depression, anger, violence. As time continues, and treatment progresses, you realize how to distinguish between yourself and your disorder. You notice that you are not your disorder and that the voice in your head is slowly disappearing as you are slowly becoming healthy again. As you become healthy you become happy. Once you are happy you can see everything clearly and it all makes sense.
There is no sense of giving up if you can see the light at the end of the tunnel. A you that is happy, healthy, and living life outside of a treatment center. It is so important to understand things will get better, and it may take months or years, but it will happen if you never give up.