I'm Not Free From My Eating Disorder Yet. Here's Why That's OK.

I took this picture with the intention of captioning it something like, “#f***youanorexia #lookatmeeatingdessert” in an attempt to demonstrate that my eating disorder no longer controls me. But… I think the mere fact that I took this pic for that reason shows how much it actually still does.

Because if I was really free from my eating disorder, I wouldn’t feel the need to take a picture as a virtual middle finger towards it. I’d like to think that some day the thoughts won’t even cross my mind — “Wow, look at me, eating dessert,” and, “What does my eating disorder think about showing people a picture of me eating?” and, “Hey, anorexia, I ate my whole dinner, and my whole dessert (which, by the way, still wasn’t that much, because that wouldn’t be acceptable to the eating-disorder-that-doesn’t-control-me-anymore).” 

So, no. I’m not free from my eating disorder. Yet. But here is why that is OK.

the author eating s'mores

1. I recognize that my eating disorder is a separate being.  My voice and the eating disorder‘s voice are not the same. And I’ve learned to separate its voice from mine.

2. Because I recognize that, I am able to challenge the thoughts it brings up. “You just ate dinner, no dessert for you,” can be countered with, “I hear you saying that, but consider this: chocolate.”

3. I can take a picture of me eating something decadent and unabashedly enjoying it, with the thought of others seeing me do so. Because in the past it hurt even admitting to having eaten that much. But — how happy do I look to be eating that thing?

4. I kept this all down. I didn’t purge. Such an easy thing, right? To just eat something so indulgent and then just sit and digest it, right?  But for me, purging used to be a regular thing. It wouldn’t have mattered that what I ate tonight wasn’t even a binge. It felt heavy and sick in my stomach, and due to a stomach issue (coincidentally came about because of my eating disorder), I don’t feel better until I throw up. Tonight, I sit with that feeling. That uncomfortable, too-full feeling.  My eating disorder said “get rid of it,” and I said, “No. I don’t do that anymore.”

5. Because I have come so damn far in going on three years of recovery. My dietitian always reminds me that to be recovered usually takes five to seven years. It seems like such a long haul, but then I peep this picture and think… yeah. I earned this.

Where are you on your eating disorder recovery journey? Let Allison know in the comments below.

Tags :

More blog posts