The following is something I wrote inspired by something a therapist said when describing the loneliness and isolation of eating disorders.
Happy National Eating Disorder Awareness Week! I hope to post something everyday this week (February 26-March4).
Welcome to ED Island. Eating Disorder Island. This is not a fun, tropical place that comes to mind when you think of a typical island; this is a place with rocky shores and black sand. An important thing you should know about ED Island is there is several islands, millions, yet each island only has a population of one. One of the people would be me unfortunately, on just one of the millions of islands. We all remain alone and isolated with people who understand the pain just out of reach. And we can’t swim to the nearest island because we are too worried about food, counting calories, and reaching that one goal: perfection. The one impossible to reach, unattainable goal. And even if we weren’t worried about those things, some of us are too physically unwell to swim. One island after another is disappearing every 40 seconds as the population goes from one to zero. Sadly, unfortunately… Each island that disappears is another angel lost to this demon called an eating disorder. One after another.
But in the meantime, on the still existing islands, there isn’t much going on. Just constant obsessing over food, looks, weights, and more. Just denying the one thing that is barely keeping them alive. Just being overly focused on appearance. Just being focused on either not getting the food, or getting rid of it. And as I say “just” I don’t say that to minimize the severity of the consequences of the behaviors, but to emphasize that people with eating disorders often do not see a problem with it.
That being said, let me tell you…
There is nothing pleasant about this island(s).
There is nothing you want about this.
The goal , perfection, is never reached.
It’s not worth sacrificing everything to get there. Not worth sacrificing time, life, food, relationships, love, and more.
There is so much more than this little island, however when you have been stuck there so long it doesn’t seem that way. There is this little, yet powerful rescue plane called recovery.
It saves your life.
It saves your loved ones’ lives.
It gives you back freedom. Freedom around food, around your body, around how you act, around everything!