Take Your Life Back: 3 Things Your Eating Disorder Is Making You Miss Out On (and how to change that)

Fear of missing out…

It is a real thing that lives deep inside of me and threatens to steel my joy in every situation I choose not to participate in.

Funny how my eating disorder was so rooted in this fear. Yet, I was reluctant to admit that my eating disorder was what was causing me to miss out on all that life had to offer.

I would long to be free and experience all the amazing opportunities that were laid out before me. But my brain was so controlled by the restrictive nature that plagued me. So I simply watched chances to truly live pass me by.

And simultaneously, the more my eating disorder caused me to miss out, the more my depression and sadness grew… and the more I was isolated in my sadness, the more I relied on the one thing that was feeding my isolation most. It was a sad cycle that all started and ended with my eating disorder.

Can you relate?

Eating disorders make you miss out on a lot of what life has to offer.

Here are 3 major things an eating disorders can cause you miss out on:

1. Being present

When you’re stuck in your eating disorder brain, there’s no way to combat the eating disorder voice and be present in the moment.

It’s a constant battle for attention, and the eating disorder usually wins. You might be too distracted by shame and guilt to be present in conversation at a meal. Or maybe you’re calculating when the next behavior can be used instead of focusing on the person you’re with.

Life is said to be a sum of all your experiences and relationships (see # 3) that you collect along the way. And for those who suffer from an eating disorder, it often keeps them from going after those experiences that shape a fulfilled life.

Whether it is due to fear, shame, or feelings of unworthiness, a person who is deep in their eating disorder will often shy away from the experience to stay in the comforts of their routine. But that doesn’t mean they don’t feel the ache of missing out.

2. Relationships

If relationships are vital to a thriving life, then it’s no wonder those who have an eating disorder merely survive.

We’re expert self-sabotagers when it comes to connection.

What are the main reasons why? It could be ear of getting hurt. Or fear of putting ourselves out there to be rejected since we already have little worth in ourselves. And any connection with another human being means less room for the eating disorder… and we all know ED is selfish as can be.

3. Pleasure

For some reason, we who are deep in our eating disorders feel as though pleasure is a luxury meant for others – but we don’t deserve such indulgence in our life.

Whether it is a mani-pedi just because, the world-famous cheesecake on our birthday, or the complement from the stranger on the street – we would wish those pleasures for anyone in the world. But accepting even simple pleasures for ourselves is a luxury we would rather pass by than feel the guilt and shame that comes with it.

What’s holding us back?

So if the fear of missing out is so great, and we KNOW the simple ways to avoid these feelings, why don’t we just do it?

Simple doesn’t always mean easy.

What may seem like a “duh” to some may be your biggest hurdle in recovery. What may look so simple on the surface may hold millions of tunnels underground.

So how do we combat these fears? How do we learn to look past the risk and see the reward?

Baby steps, Warrior. Challenge yourself to engage in one conversation today. Put a date on the calendar to get out and explore in a way you feel compelled and honor it. Text your friend first. Do a simple self-care act that you would normally pass on… Baby steps.

We only miss out on the things that allow ourselves to pass up, Warrior.

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  • This all sounds great except when I’m in the ED (currently relapsed) I just don’t care about those things. I actually prefer missing out because I feel safe and secure by myself at home. Literally the only reason I’m trying is because I don’t want to go back to the treatment program. I don’t know how to get back to wanting recovery. I’ve had recovery many times in the long years of my struggle but can no longer relate to the idea of it. How did you bridge that gap? How did you switch from wanting to participate in life from not caring?

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