Last night I was reading an incredibly eye opening book about eating disorders called Eating Disorders: Decode The Controlled Chaos: Your Knowledge Just May Save A Life, when I came across a story in it about a woman who was battling with an eating disorder of her own.
In the story, there was a line that said, “She had already turned off her voice, disconnected herself so profoundly from her truths to simply survive in her world.”
The minute I read that, it instantly made me think about which truths I had to disconnect myself from in order to survive in my eating disordered world.
What truths did I choose to forget once I let Ed take over me, what were the new truths that Ed had replaced mine with, and what are the new truths that I am going to decide to create and bring with me into my new life of recovery?
Let me start by answering the first question-what truth did I choose to forget once I let Ed become my only source of truth? I can list many of them, but I will focus on the biggest truth that I left behind once Ed came along, and is my truth about the definition of beauty.
Before Ed, my perception of what was considered beautiful, all stemmed from the inside.
I used to look at people’s hearts, their intentions, and their kindness. I would look at a person, including myself, and I wouldn’t see their weight, their jean size, or what food they were eating-I would see their personality, their smile, and their aura.
Before Ed, I thought I was beautiful-both externally and internally. I thought I was sexy, curvy and strong. I thought I was driven, motivated, dedicated and smart.
Once Ed became the master and controller of me and my world, that truth about what beauty meant to me completely changed.
Instead, it was replaced with Ed’s definition of beauty, which in turn, became my new truth about beauty.
Ed saw beauty in only a few things: restriction, starvation, and unhealthy and unattainable numbers on a scale. Of course, these three things became my only source of happiness, and they became things that I was dedicated to.
When I was fully immersed in my eating disorder, I wouldn’t look at myself and think I am sexy anymore. I looked at myself and thought I am too big, I am not skinny enough-I as a person, am not enough.
I didn’t think I was driven anymore, and I didn’t think I was motivated anymore. The once strong sense of self I once had and the truths about myself that I once knew, had vanished.
Instead, my new truths about me were that I was weak, voiceless, ugly, and undeserving of anything other than Ed.
Ed changed my perception about beauty with others as well.
When I was living with Ed, I would look at others and only see one thing; their body.
If they weren’t skinny, I thought they were worthless and useless people. If I saw someone eating something “fattening,” I would automatically judge them and think they had no self respect.
I no longer saw people’s personalities, I no longer saw people’s spirits, and I no longer saw past people’s physical being.
These new Ed created truths- that people who were not skinny were useless, that I was not enough, that eating meant I was fat, and would become fat and therefore become valueless, that physical appearance dictates one’s value as a human being-are what I have been living my life by for two years now.
I hate these truths. They disgust me, and they make me feel disappointed in myself.
Who was I to judge others? Who was I to judge others, especially based on their physical appearance?
Most importantly, who was I to judge myself? Who was I to judge myself based on how sick I could be?
Throughout my recovery process, I have been working with E on creating new truths of my own that I will take with me to this new Ed free life.
A few of them are:
-I have a voice
-I know me better than anyone else.
-I am valuable and I am worthy.
-I deserve recovery.
-I am more than a number on a scale.
I know that I have a multitude of more truths to discover, create and learn to believe in, but for now, this is a good start.
I am looking forward to replacing these new healthy truths of mine with Ed’s destructive truths.
I know it will take mental work to change my truth about how I should look like, how I should act, and how I should navigate my life without Ed-but I am ready and I am excited to put in the time and effort into that work.
Good bye to Ed’s truths that became my own, hello to creating new and healthy truths about beauty, love, and happiness, and hello life.