Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is that quiet voice at the end of the day saying, “I will try again tomorrow.”Mary Anne Radmacher
She came into our first session, “dukes up” and very chatty. Smart, with a pretty smile and happy eyes, she commanded the energies in the space immediately. She was very thin. Painfully thin.
“I know I have disordered eating. Truth is, I’ve had a dysfunctional relationship with food my whole life. Well, pretty much. And, as you are well aware, my difficulties are forever. I mean, like, you don’t ever heal from disordered eating. It’s a forever thing.
You don’t actually ever heal from anorexia or bulimia. It’s a forever thing.Kay, client (not her real name)
Upon asking her how many therapists, coaches, and doctors she had had as part of her team throughout the years, she replied that there had been many. She had a supportive husband. “But,” she sighed, “as you’re well aware from your journey with anorexia, one never really finds peace with eating. It’s just the way it is.”
Except, this is NOT just the way it is. This was not MY experience.
I HAD HEALED OF ANOREXIA. My mind and my body were reconnected. I no longer dissociated. Certain foods no longer triggered me. Certain people or specific smells no longer triggered an anxiety attack. I WAS EXPERIENCING COMPLETE PEACE OF MIND.
Anorexia is NOT a life sentence. Bulimia is NOT a life sentence.
I would not consider myself someone who is actively anorexic or bulimic or over-exercising. This was my story. But that chapter of the book had ended and I was writing a new section of the book. One which did not feature disordered eating.
Disordered eating is a symptom of a deeper heartache, a way of coping and keeping oneself safe. Dysfunctional relationship with food is not the problem. It is a symptom of a heart that needs love, a mind that needs rewiring, and a body that needs hugging.
Anorexia and bulimia and over-exercise are internal struggles that require patience, compassion, and curiosity. They are messengers.
If you or someone you care about is struggling in the experience of disordered eating or atypical eating, or dysfunctional exercising or body image shame, please know that this is not a forever thing. It doesn’t have to be.
Perhaps the journey is long. Perhaps it’s hard. But there is a beginning, a middle, and an end. There can be an end to the cycle when the messages of the dysfunctional behaviors have been allowed to speak, and when the soul has been allowed to be feel and be held, loved, reassured.
Reconnection is possible. Healthy relationship with self is possible. No more fear surrounding food is possible.
I’m living proof.
You are loved,