One thing that we really have to get our heads around in recovery is the fact that the vast majority of people with whom we interact in real life have no way to see things the way that we do. Friends, and probably most of all, parents, will say or do things that seem perfectly reasonable to them, but to you is a progress-ruining trigger. You know what I’m talking about; phrases like ‘Why can’t you just eat?’ or ‘How bad could it be if you had that extra spoon of cereal?’ Saying that they can’t understand why you’re being so ridiculous and perhaps worst of all, after a particularly trying episode, ‘Well, why don’t you just starve then if that’s what you want?’
What you have got to understand is that that phrase in particular is never actually meant. It’s a heat-of-the-moment thing, one intended to shock you into fighting back. And yeah, it’s not the best of things to say, not by a long shot. But the person who says it is in no way expecting the response to be ‘Great, well there’s my excuse’. Try and remember that.
The people who are talking to you, saying these sort of things, are trying to keep hold of the belief that you have access to your logical faculties with respect to the situation. Which, let’s be honest, is incredibly unlikely. It doesn’t matter how many times their intentions are explained, the voices will always batter away at your sense of reason, in an attempt to estrange you from your sources of help. This disease wants you to be alone and friendless; that is when you are at your weakest, when you can be hurt the most. You can’t do this on your own, there is no denying this. But when you have other people at your back, there’s hope.
The key here is trust and honesty. If you can be completely open with those around you, and can establish mutual trust, you’re halfway there. You will not be pushed away and rejected for alerting your loved ones to what is going on your head. So sit down and have a proper discussion. Write up lists of triggers, establish goals together. And don’t be afraid to ask to be treated like a child. One thing that I really benefited from in my own recovery was little behaviour charts, with cute stickers stuck on for positive things. The simplicity and babyishness of the scheme helped distract me from the very grown up fear that anorexia brought with it. In recovery, there is nothing to be ashamed of. You do whatever it takes to get there, you hear? Because guess what?
Your. Life. Depends. On. It.
That’s really all that I wanted to rant about today, I hope it helps. As always, drop me a line should you ever wish. Take care of yourselves you wonderful little feckers, be the best that you can be.