S is for Slow and Steady

“Some people quit due to slow progress, never grasping the fact that slow progress is still progress” anon

“It does not matter how slowly you go, as long as you do not stop” Confucius 

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That’s a great story.

I was watching a documentary about different mental illnesses, and an 11 year old anorexic was interviewed on it. At such a young age, she identified that the modern ideal of thin being good does not cause eating disorders. What this little girl said was so articulate and true that I couldn’t help but write about it:

“I know that lots of magazines say that people who get eating disorders get them as a result of striving to be as thin/ beautiful as their favourite celebrity or model, and that’s a great story so I guess they wouldn’t want to change that. But it isn’t true. I didn’t get anorexia because I wanted to look like somebody else; sure, when you have the illness, being thin becomes incredibly important, but the only person I wanted to impress was myself. I didn’t ever fully trust the opinions of other people, and because I never felt like I had done enough to please my eating disorder I couldn’t stop what I was doing. I got anorexia because nobody ever noticed me and my whole life felt out of control. People did notice me when I got ill, but not in a good way.”

She is absolutely right. It is a great story for the media, and it may trigger (if coupled with other things) an eating disorder in somebody who is susceptible, but it isn’t true and most people see photos of skinny celebrities without developing a mental illness. Once again, I am reminded that my eating disorder is not about food. Food, exercise and my body just take my energy and stress away from the feelings and problems I can’t deal with.

“An eating disorder is not a diet gone wrong. In a diet, one sees a life outside of the weight loss efforts, but an eating disorder makes your whole life change. It is your life, you lose yourself as it takes priority again and again. The lack of understanding about these mental illnesses can be devastating for sufferers. Ignorance to their true causes  make people feel even more worthless and lonely than they already do.”

 

My conscience is fighting my disorder.

Inside my mind at the moment there is a contest. I continue to be disordered, but I continue to want to be “normal”at the same time. I am unable to decide what I want to have happened by the end of the holidays: do I want to be tons thinner, or do I want to go back to where I am studying and say that I’ve done well to hold things stable for a while?

I have thought about it A LOT… and I don’t know.

I suppose that trying to decide the outcome is somewhat convoluted anyway, because ed’s will take their own path in the end, but still, I just wish I could be 100% comfortable with one of the options. The only problem I see with accepting my disordered behaviour and allowing it to continue, is that I feel so bad about how much I worry and hurt others. Following that trail of thought, I would be a selfish person if I didn’t fight for stability and recovery, right? But then I am not currently willing to let go of my ed. I’ve read other people’s posts about reaching a lower target weight and then gaining it back and starting again, and I too feel like I cannot permit myself to be fully recovered until it is “justified.” I know that is illogical, but that doesn’t seem to matter anymore..

“Know that you are your greatest enemy, but also your greatest friend.”

Jeremy Taylor