Some people treat their eating disorder as a person and I can totally relate to that. However when I was being forced into recovery, I thought people who named their disorders were “stupid” and I thought the overall concept was really childish. I thought, “my eating disorder isn’t like a person, it is a part is me, it’s a burden I have brought upon myself and everything is my fault.” In many ways, I liked my eating disorder, and the superior feeling I felt when restricting and losing weight. When I became weight restored, I felt heavy with grief (no pun intended). This is when I became to see my eating disorder as a person, but this person wasn’t an enemy, they were a friend. My eating disorder was my friend, my only friend, the friend that knows more about me then anybody, that has helped me through everything… It was being torn away from me and to be blunt, I was having a little separation anxiety. Okay I lied, it was a lot. I held on for a long long time. Eventually though, things changed. As the months went along, my friend and I grew farther away from each other. Each moment I felt free of my eating disorder, I’d tear myself to pieces and be crushed with guilt. I missed my eating disorder. My therapist introduced a new idea to me… She said that to me, losing my eating disorder was the same process of losing a person. I instantly latched onto and could one hundred percent relate the concept, although my logical mind kept telling me that it was NOT the same thing. Recovery is like slowly losing your best friend. People keep telling you that your life will be better without her. And she did after all, try to kill you. But she has also been with you through it all. She was your rock, your security blanket you could always depend on, even though nobody ever really understood what she meant to you. The other problem is that YOU are the one who has to kill her. You have to listen to her pleas, her bargaining, her promises to be a better friend. This is why recovery isn’t a walk in the park. Do you think you could kill your best friend when she was the only one you’ve ever really had?
Anorexia was almost dead when bulimia came into my life. It had been a long fight, and I thought it was over. I knew that I would have another challenge ahead soon. I didn’t get any break at all, I went from killing one best friend to another. I began to live my life in fear of losing important things in my life, because I simply can not do anything, I cannot love anything, without going all in, getting attached, and ruining myself in the process.
I realized I was afraid of losing people too, when I lost my grandfather. It terrified me immensely that there was a possibility of losing somebody in my life, even if they were not very close to me. I would have anxiety attacks at night while thinking of life without a certain person. I’d literally be sitting in bed and think up awful scenarios, how that would affect me, then feel awful and even somehow guilty. I discovered that it was simply a peace of mind thing knowing that somebody was there and walking the earth, even if I’d not seen them in a long time. I have a very long list of people that I’ve become attached to, from my parents and my team and my friends, to my volunteer supervisor and people I’ve never even met online and my ex boyfriends… I’m still grieving and I’m still learning. I want to find a happy medium. I want to care, to be passionate, but not crumble completely when I lose people. I want to be mindful of my past, but not wrecked emotionally every time I look at an old picture. Life is a learning process. I think that it’s special, the way we meet others and they leave little footprints on our hearts. I am only sixteen and yet there are so many people who have influenced me. I need to learn to treasure these footprints, for they will never fade and even when somebody is not with me anymore, I can still look back on the footprints and remember.