Eating disorder are quite common, as are eating disorder myths.
People have been suffering from eating disorders for a long time, I know because I was one of them.
I battled with eating disorders for ten years. They were some of the worst years of my life.
But while that was a painful time for me, I’m actually grateful for the experience. I am the person I am today because of what I went through.
If you or someone you love suffers from eating disorders, perhaps you feel there isn’t any hope. That this will own you for life, and you’ll never be free.
Well, I’m here to tell you otherwise.
There IS hope, but first, you’ll need to know what’s true and what isn’t.
Then you’ll have the tools necessary to heal yourself.
Eating Disorders: The Myths You Should Not Believe
Myth #1 – You’ll never be cured
I’ve read some of the articles and blog posts from people who say you can never truly recover from an eating disorder.
It isn’t true, though. You can cure it.
I’ve been free of my eating disorders for seventeen years. No relapsing. It’s a thing of the past for me.
But for this to happen, I had to get angry. Angry that I felt I was a prisoner of something. Freedom had to become my ultimate goal.
To free myself and heal, self-awareness had to become a big part of my life. It required me to face my “stuff.” I had to stop judging myself and decide I was going to get better.
I wanted to be free – more than anything. When that became a burning desire, I started the journey to recovery.
Now while I state that I’ve recovered, it’s important for you to know that others have as well.
In fact, according to this study regarding the long term success of recovery, 51% of patients suffering from anorexia had still been fully recovered after a 21 year follow up.
Myth #2 – Eating disorders are all about food
Eating disorders certainly have a lot to do with food, but there’s more to it than that.
Control plays a significant role in this. At least, it did for me.
I grew up with a horrible sense of self. I was extremely depressed. I had no self-love, self-worth and I didn’t feel I belonged anywhere.
In fact, I wasn’t even overweight when I first got sick.
My eating disorders made me feel powerful. Yes, I was able to manipulate my caloric intake and experience a false sense of empowerment over doing that, but it was my ability to manipulate people into feeling sorry for me that was underneath it all.
Pity felt like love to me. So when people felt sorry for me – when they worried about me, it made me feel like I mattered.
Eventually, though, I realized that wasn’t the kind of love I wanted. It kept me sick. It turned out that what I truly wanted was to love and respect myself.
I couldn’t love and respect myself until I made well-being my priority. I then took that same level of control I dedicated toward being sick and put into healthy living.
Myth #3 – Getting help means there’s something wrong with you
I know it sounds crazy, but sometimes, we just don’t want to admit we need help. It’s almost as though it validates there’s something wrong with us.
Like we’re damaged goods.
But that isn’t true.
What is true is when you’re willing to face yourself and look your pain right in the eye, it means you have courage. And when you have courage, you can pretty much do anything else you set your mind to.
There are a variety of different methods available to help you heal from eating disorders. You may need to investigate what’s out there, but you’ll find what suits you if healing is important to you.
The idea is to decide you want to be well. It sounds simple, but that’s what it takes. Only you can make that decision. But if you want to be free – if you want to experience a life filled with inner peace and joy, you can do it.
As soon as you stop running.
Taking the First Step
As simple as this sounds, the first step toward healing yourself is just to make the decision to be well.
You’re not alone in this either. Today (unlike when I was sick), there are forums and websites designed to help you connect to valuable online resources, information and other people. You have support available as soon as you make the choice to get better.
You can cure this. I wouldn’t say it if it weren’t true.
I’m living proof.