the eating disorder world

My favorite show has an eating disorder storyline.

I could write all about how Glee is mishandling the subject of eating disorders and I might in a later post but that’s not the point of this blog. I am so sick, so tired, and so fucking (excuse the language) pissed at eating disorders. I’m tired of the glamorizing. I’m tired of the hopelessness. I’m tired of the lure it has. I’m tired of the fear. I’m tired of the media’s portrayal. I’m tired that my friend’s hurt. I’m tired of treatment facilities. I’m tried of hearing about purging, restricting, diet pills, laxatives, over-exercising and the many other deadly behaviors. Most of all I’m tired that I suffer. I’m tired that my friends suffer. And I’m pissed that eating disorders exist at all.

And now my favorite show has an eating disorder storyline.

I can’t escape.

Eating disorders seem to have a world of their own. When you are sick you exist in your own little world that has been narrowed down so life exists only around your eating disorder. As you get well your world expands. If you are in residential or inpatient treatment your world expands a little at a time. At first you interact with only eating disorder patients and staff. When you leave you are forced into the real world once again but the eating disorder world doesn’t really leave. You still see your treatment team, you still talk to the friends you met in treatment, you may still follow recovery blogs (or not so recovery orientated blogs), you may belong to support groups on or off line and most importantly the eating disorder is still there – lurking.

In February, it will be two years since I left the Center for Change. My world has expanded to some degree. I interact with family.  I spend time with some friends. I am taking obedience class with Ben. I read things other than eating disorder books and blogs. I don’t use symptoms.

The majority of my friends are friends I met in the eating disorder world. Are they part of that world now? No. At least our relationships are not. These friendships have stood the test of recovery. They have proved that we have things in common besides our eating disorders. In fact, our eating disorders rarely exist in our friendship except to say “I get you” and “I’m sorry you are hurting”, “I understand”. And I’m so so so grateful for these girls. I think we were destined to meet. They are my soul sisters. We just happened to meet in the most unlikely of places.

But to be honest I’m still in that eating disorder world. I haven’t quite managed to sever the ties. I haven’t quite managed to say a complete goodbye to my eating disorder. I still sometimes read those eating disorder books or think wishfully of being sick again. Like I said before I dont’ use symptoms but does that really matter if I haven’t given up the belief that someday I can and will return to the land of the sick, the starved, the dying? I know I’m capable of returning. It’s only with the help of my therapist, the accountability of friends and family that I choose and sometimes am forced to stay in recovery.

In the last two years I haven’t always felt this way. In fact, this is new. Very new. And I’m on a slippery slope. Something is wrong. Very wrong that my thinking is so distorted and desperate. I’ve been honest with my parents. They know I’m struggling with little things. Reading labels. Having a certain medication around. Body image. Beth knows and is using all of her therapeutic tricks and threats to keep me accountable and safe. And I’m thankful. I really am. Because yes, while I do think of returning and somedays I do want to I really, really, really don’t. I want to preserve my recovery until I can get through this tricky spot.

Now, I just wish eating disorders would go away all together. And please Glee, get rid of the eating disorder storyline. I just want to enjoy some show choir covered songs and non-realistic drama filled teenagers lives.

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2 Comments

Filed under body image, eating disorder, eating disorders, Recovery, survivor

2 responses to “the eating disorder world

  1. Devyn

    I get it Kate and so sorry you are having a rough time. Hang in there and I’m here for you. I agree with the Glee thing and hope they go back to a positive atmosphere soon. Love you.

  2. I like how you brought up the point that a person can still struggle without using symptoms. And I haven’t kept up with Glee this season…but hearing that pisses me off a little. They definitely need to work on changing that.

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