Community Magazine

the Eating Disorder is the Relationship

By Survivingana @survivingana

real relationshipsWhen you have an eating disorder you may think you are maintaining your usual relationships with family, friends etc. The sad reality is that you are not.

Eating disorders isolate. Eating disorders encourage denial. You spend as much time as possible avoiding social situations, meal times, and communication. For the eating disorder to continue to hold you, it needs your full attention. Mixing with others for social times and meals means the eating disorder could lose control. Heaven forbid, someone might expect you to eat or talk about the fact you have an eating disorder.

So the voice in your head steps up the guilt and control. It makes life hell, it makes being with others just plain painful. In the end its easier to just obey the voice. Makes it simplier for you and less noise in your head.

So in the end the only communication and relationship you have is with the eating disorder. It becomes your focus. You have this ongoing relationship with a destructive illness that lives in your head.

When the thing you think about most, honor most, behave for, compromise for – that becomes you the thing you value most above everything else in your life.

I watched Sophie push everyone away, even when she didn’t want to. She didn’t get a choice, it was the ‘anorexic way’ or ‘no way’. The very relationships that would support her and help her through this were the ones she tried to ignore or destroy. She looks back now and it pains her that she was so hurtful to her family and friends. But it was not her, it was the anorexia that was doing this.

For those caring and supporting, it is not your loved one pushing you away, denying the relationship you once had. It is the eating disorder. The ED is the only one having a relationship with your loved one at the moment.

It won’t be like that forever.

A true relationship is with someone who accepts your past, supports your present, loves you and encourages your future. The eating disorder does not do any of these.

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