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Struggling with ED

Since starting college I’ve been in a downward spiral in my relationship with food. When I get anxious or stressed I restrict myself from eating. It makes me feel like I have control of something. I’m at a very unhealthy weight and my family is worried when I visit. I keep telling them it’s nothing and that I’m just stressed because I’m afraid to admit to them that I have a problem. Sometimes I look in the mirror and I’m disgusted and scared of what I’m doing to myself. I’m ashamed to be causing stress to my family. But I feel like I can’t stop. I want to recover, but I’m scared, and I don’t know how to approach my family with it

Eating disorders are very real problems. I had a mild version of one when I lost a lot of weight and counted calories. It made eating a miserable experience. I think you have identified correctly that “control” is the main drive for it. I wonder if you can use that desire for control to be more healthy. Rather than avoiding eating, maybe you can figure out a healthy amount of food to eat and make sure you have at least that much. You would want a range of minimum to maximum amount of food where the minimum end is still a healthy amount of food and the maximum end is still in the healthy range. It will give you more allowance to not feel guilty about what you have. The second time I have lost weight (after the first time I gained back more weight and it was frustrating), I have lost weight by NOT counting calories but by watching portion sizes. It allows me to have food I want and remove hunger while also not overeating.

Hopefully, these strategies help you. I would be happy to talk to you more about it depending on what your specific situation is. Just know that you fight the unhealthy need for control, but helping you find control in a healthy way. <3

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Hi Second Startlight, we took some time to talk about your struggles and provide some support here: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/494424763 Best of luck recovering my friend, we are rooting for you! -Clairepics

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@clairepics @jackskellington27 I can’t express how thankful I am that you two took the time to reach out and help me. Claire, what you said brought me to tears because you so genuinely understood my conflicting emotions of simultaneously wanting help but also wanting sameness and fearing that change. You’re so right, I was causing more stress to those around me by not admitting that I needed help. So many people were reaching out to me. Many others don’t have that type of support, and I’m shocked to have been so detached to have not seen that blessing myself. Thank you so much for emphasizing the love around me, I can’t even describe how much your message has impacted me.

I mustered the courage to ask my family for help this week. And my mom cried out of relief. She said they were both waiting for me to be open with them. @jackskellington27 my dad decided to help me do something very similar to what you proposed, so thank you so much for suggesting it. He came for a few days this week and we made sandwiches for lunch with the right serving portions in terms of meat or peanut butter, etc., instead of me using a single slice or a small smear of something like I typically do. It’s a small step, and I admit to feeling uneasy and wanting to compensate. And I know that eventually I’ll need to eat more than even serving sizes to recover the amount of weight I’ve lost. But I feel some progress while still having that bit of control that I want.

Thank you to those who were in the chat as well. I know there was some confusion in terms of how I perceive my body image. Yes, I can see a problem. I don’t see myself as looking well, but I also have the irrational need to keep my body the way it is. So I feel distress at the idea of gaining weight, but also of continuing to lose more because of my habits. It’s very conflicting. But I’ve agreed to see a specialist soon to work on my mental health and hopefully learn how to cope with stress in a way that’s not so self-destructive. I know I have a long way to go, and I dream of not having to count calories, check scales and just be free to eat what I want and be happy and healthy again. I’m going to make the best effort I can. Thank you both again, so much.

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I am so so proud of you. Asking for help is so hard but is so worth it. It’s a hard fight and it might seem like it will get harder in recovery but it’s worth it so much. Main advice is grace and more grace. Be gentle with yourself. You can’t do recovery perfectly and it’s will have it’s up and downs. Be honest with yourself and team and remember it’s not about the food. It’s so much deeper and complex. There is no time frame but showing up even if it’s hard. Being brave even 8f you don’t feel brave. Take it one moment at a time. Find even one reason for what you want from recovery and how much this disorder took from you. Rooting for you and know you aren’t alone. I’ve been in recovery also from an Ed. Keep reaching out. Keep reminding yourself that your Ed will do anything to keep you sick but you taking this step takes that power away. Allow your team and parents to fight for you when all you can hear Is your Ed voice. Sometimes it might seem like they are against you but they aren’t they know and want whats best for you.

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