This week is National Eating Disorders Awareness Week. One of my missions in life is to spread awareness and reduce the stigma of EDs.
Today, I heard a phrase from a fellow sufferer that put into words what can be so hard to explain. I’ve always said I don’t know if I’ll ever get better. I don’t know if I will recover fully and not still have the tendencies to fall. The way she put it was that she’s just “one wrong step away” from it all. How perfect of a definition.
My weight has dramatically changed up and down. I went from anorexic to gaining 70 pounds because of severe binging and purging. I lost the weight and then gained it back. And as I stare at myself in the mirror today, I cry. I am terrified and utterly humiliated that I’ve let myself get to this point. I’ve been in and out of inpatient and outpatient treatment. I’ve been hospitalized, I’ve spent hours with therapists, doctors and nutritionists. But that doesn’t make it all go away. It doesn’t change the voice in my head that tells me I can use food to control my life. Even at 29. I may “know better”, but it doesn’t change it. It doesn’t mean I choose this. I would give anything to not have this struggle; to not have my mind and world completely preoccupied with food and trying so desperately to strategically avoid it.
It makes my heart ache that I can’t “just stop”. People think it’s that easy. They think because you have been in therapy that you should be healed. But, the struggle remains. I can only hope to learn to manage it better. The lies of ED still race through my mind. Every day is a battle. Every day I am one wrong step away. Today, I am one wrong step away.
Today, like every other day, I will fight. I may stumble and fall or I may be victorious. Minutes, hours, days, months. That’s how the life of an ED sufferer goes. One second at a time.
If you or someone you know is suffering, please contact NEDA. You don’t have to suffer alone. There is support and help available. As hard as it may be, ask for help. It might be the only thing that saves your life. And you are worth saving.~Lindsay