It Ain’t Easy
Functioning in the adult world can be exhausting – worrying about money, career problems, family stresses, maintaining friendships and meeting your responsibilities is tiring. If, like me, you are suffering from depression, some days even taking a shower uses all your energy, let alone paying bills or cleaning the house.
When the world seems overwhelming, it can be really tempting to use your eating disorder to shut out life’s demands by focusing all your energy on food and weight.
When you spend all your time calculating and re-calculating calories, excessively exercising or cutting your food into a certain number of pieces, you have very little time left to worry about anything else.
In my experience, being absorbed in the tightly controlled world of restriction gives me relief from the bigger things I’m worried about. I can’t worry about money if I’m pushing myself to exercise for hours. I can’t worry about whether or not I’m good at my job if I’m busy obsessively adding up the number of calories I’ve eaten in a day. I cant worry about not finding a partner, whether I’ll get to have children, or if I’ll be able to afford a house if I’m completely focused on making sure the number on the scale is less than it was the day before.
Ready to let go of your eating disorder? Join the School of Recovery for life-changing classes and daily support. 📒
Why We Stay
Restriction offers an out.
It offers a tiny world where all that matters is food and weight and calories and exercise, where the demands of real life can’t touch you.
It seems like an easy way to avoid the crippling anxiety of the unknown, and keeps you safe from being hurt or disappointed by life. Restriction gives you ‘tunnel vision’ in that the only part of your life you can focus on is your weight. In recovery, you are made to look beyond your weight and confront the messy reality of what your life has become, which will likely leave you feeling out of control and hopeless.
What Happens When You Choose Recovery?
Suddenly you realize that the life you thought you were in complete control of is in ruins. Your friends are becoming successful in their careers, travelling, buying houses, having families, and you’ve wasted the last 10 years cycling in and out of treatment centers; all your money spent on doctors appointments, medications, and hospital bills.
Is It Easier to Stay In Your ED?
There’s no denying that it would be easier to return to the safety of the eating disorder, and at times it’s incredibly tempting to do so; but is that really how I want to exist in the world? So afraid of uncertainty that I starve and isolate myself to avoid feeling it?
I’ve come to realize that no, I don’t want to live like that. It’s going to be the hardest thing I’ll ever do, but I’m done denying myself a real life just because I’m afraid.