Thursday, December 18, 2008

Lessons to Learn, Lessons to Pass On

This is a delicate post. I freely talk about my past with eating disorders - ranging from anorexia to bulimia to compulsive eating - but it is not easy. Today I was reminded of one of the main reasons why I talk about my past struggle, and my continuing struggle, as I firmly believe that I am in recovery, and I know that one of the first things to go when I am stressed is my "control" over eating.

Anyhow, it is always hard to see a friend struggling with a similar issue. It is, although difficult to see, a firm reminder of why I talk about what I went through. I think that, once someone has been to eating disorder hell and back, she (or he) likely has something to share with others who may be suffering with those same issues. I have a friend who is in the throes of this, and I want to help, if nothing else by talking about what I went through.

I hope she knows that it is possible to live a life where your worth is not determined by your body size or shape. I hope she knows that there is a plausible end to this hell that does not involve constant preoccupation with food and eating. I hope she knows she is beautiful and worth something better, something more gentle, something that will be sustainable for the rest of her life.

I also have to remind myself of the things I've written above. I am out of the super disordered behaviors on a regular basis, but this is still my greatest battle. Food, weight, body image...it is never-ending, always the first thing to crop up when I am stressed. I wish it were easier, both for me and for my friend who is in the midst of the real struggle, not just the interminable aftermath.

I hope she knows she is worth it...

2 comments:

Rrramone said...

What a wise woman you are.

bart said...

hi ali, i'm back in catch-up mode at the moment, having put down a few nasties in my life during the last few months...

as you might know, my second daughter also had an eating disorder for some time and it's an issue that still plagues her from time to time... she's only 16 but she's occasionally triggered by mood or circumstance, going looking for information that might help her feel comfortable with herself again...

for my part, i can understand the obsessive nature of an eating disorder too, it's closely related to the addiction/alcoholism issues i've been dealing with during the last year and know how hard it is to shake off old habits, thoughts and feelings in particular situations...

i think you're particularly brave discussing this issue openly but in time it will have enormous benefits for you...

i'll try to keep in touch a little more conscientiously from now on ;-)

keep well