Hey , it has been years since I used this but seeing an old email brought back the comfort it used to give me. Long story short , I’m still struggling from an eating disorder and have been for more than 5 years , diagnosed bulimia. It’s so hard , especially going from being too skinny to gaining my weight back and more. I’m a healthy weight but I feel huge and my eating habits are so unhealthy I just feel lost in myself and don’t know who I am anymore , it’s so exhausting
Hello Person355. I’m sorry you are going through this. I see you have a diagnosis, so I am assuming you have gotten help at some point. I would like to encourage you to continue getting help, and trying things that help. You are not alone.
Hey friend, I’m proud of you for reaching out. I have been struggling with ED for a long time now and what you describe feels so very present. My heart goes out to you. The feeling of being trapped in your own body, that it hurts while you KNOW that it is part of healing, and part of being healthy. It makes sense to have times when you feel completely exhausted and down. Please know that this is not where you are meant to be stuck. You have taken one of those steps today. You are SO brave. <3
ED is a hard place to be in. I recall feeling those same feelings when gaining weight. A lot of support from not only professionals but friends was needed. I spent a lot of time crying and learning how to find my new happiness. Learning the joy that can happen sharing your journey with people who love you. There’s still days where it’s hard, but once worth is refocused on the fact you’re an incredible being with so much to give it gets easier
From jezlie in the twitch response:
I hear you. I battled eating disorders all through my college years, and then tried to get better on my own. this just shoved me into a whole new eating disorder. I still struggle to this very day, and it can feel so defeating for it just… always hang around. why can’t I just leave it? but hey, don’t discredit the progress you HAVE made. that is huge. that is worth celebrating. that effort is so worth acknowledging
It sounds like you’re a veteran of a long battle. Yes, it’s exhausting. You have probably heard everything that can possibly be said about managing the disorder. I did not have bulimia, but I have gained and lost tons of weight. As a young child, I coped with PTSD by becoming an emotional eater. In my teens, I began starving myself and lost weight, only to gain it back and more.
Something clicked about 15 years ago, and my weight has been stable ever since. I won’t go into a lot of detail about how it came about, except that I became very consistent with diet, not even varying it for special occasions.
I did figure out that the mindset of “fighting,” or “struggling” does a really good job of programming the subconscious to believe that the habit you are dealing with has much greater power than it actually does. In short, if you anticipate an overwhelming fight when trying to manage a behavior you’re trying to change, there’s a very good chance that you will feel overwhelmed by the challenge. After a lifetime of fighting and struggling with a disorder, it will take time to change the way you think about managing it.
Imagine a huge ship at port, sitting in calm water. Imagine that you grab a rope and try pulling the ship a few feet. You yank and pull, slipping on the dock, and you finally find yourself on your knees, exhausted. Now imagine that you are standing next to the ship, and start pressing gently on it with one finger. You aren’t struggling, in fact you’re feeling quite relaxed. You are patient, and probably thinking about other things. Some time passes, and lo and behold, the ship is moving slowly in the direction your finger is pushing it.
Think of the habit you are interested in changing as subject to the same kind of patient, gentle influence, applied with faith and consistency. There is no need to feel anxious or discouraged. There is no need to look at the disorder as though it’s a huge mountain that will be an intense struggle to climb. In fact, don’t look at the mountain at all.
By the way, contrary to popular opinion, you are not what you eat. You are not an eating disorder. You are not anxiety. You’re not exhaustion or despair. How we see ourselves isn’t necessarily the reality of who we are. Our perception of strength, or lack of it, is rarely the reality. You have learned a great deal. You even have more self-knowledge than your consciously aware of.
When impulses materialize that you wish to ignore, relax, give yourself a moment to clear your mind, take a deep breath, and ask yourself, “what is the best choice I can make right now?”
Be your own friend. Be gentle with yourself. Take the time to be grateful for all of your successes, and forgive yourself for setbacks. You can access a great deal of strength through self acceptance and self-love. Treat yourself as you would treat others.
Don’t let past memories hold you back. Every day, you are a new person, with greater wisdom, therefore equipped to handle your personal challenges better than ever before.
Tall, short, fat, thin, whatever shape you are in, you are a lovely person. Consider yourself hugged.
I have never struggled with an eating disorder myself, but I understand from gaining weight myself how badly it can negatively impact your self esteem. I feel others here have said the best advice I could give you myself. Please take their words and hold them close, you should be gentle to yourself and give yourself a break to realize that you’ve overcome already a big feat. Please take care of yourself and continue to strive forward. <3