I have a question; is it wrong or abnormal to miss struggling with an eating disorder? I know that sounds strange and probably also sounds like I’m still struggling with it. I don’t necessarily miss the starving or calories counti…no that’s a lie. Yes I do. Okay, let’s just break this down a little bit.
When I think of my past with the eating disorder, I don’t get that sense of pride for having “beat it”. When I think about my past behavior, past addiction, I actually almost miss being anorexic/bulimic. The main reason being, I never felt as if I reached the stereotypical physical image of someone who is considered to be anorexic/bulimic, like I didn’t reach my “goal weight” or goal “appearance”. As if I was striving for something but never actually got there, like I had failed. I see images of girls (and I say girls because I am a girl so naturally those are the images I was looking at) and I feel like I failed. I feel like I wasn’t really anorexic because I didn’t look like them, not yet at least. I was on my way there, but I got stopped in my tracks. The weird part about that is I wasn’t stopped by someone else like a doctor or a friend or even a family member, I was stopped by myself. So, that essentially means I knew I was sick and I didn’t want to keep getting sick so I asked for help. I didn’t want to look like that or be like that. Why is it then, that looking back, I feel shameful? I feel like I failed? Shouldn’t I be proud that I stopped myself before it got so bad?
The other reason I feel as though I miss being sick, miss having an eating disorder, is because it gave me a sense of identity. It gave me something to work towards, a reason to get up in the morning and keep going, because I had a goal. It was an unhealthy goal, a life threatening, dangerous goal, but it was a goal. It was me. It was all that I was. Even though I had other passions, other desires, a common sense level smart enough to know that it needed to stop, the eating disorder was my identity. Almost like a secret identity…actually…exactly like a secret identity. Nobody ever knew I was sick. Nobody knew I was counting calories. Nobody knew that eating an apple freaked me out because it has about 100 calories. ED gave me an identity, a purpose, and a goal. Taking that away, I’ve lost such a big part of myself and I am struggling to find things to replace it with.
So, if someone reads this and can give me some answers as to whether or not it’s normal to “miss” an eating disorder, I would appreciate it. If someone would clarify why I feel that way or what your interpretation of what I’m saying is, I would love to read your responses and get some feedback.
p.s. I’m not looking for counseling, I have a psychologist I can call if I need to. I’m really just ranting and wondering what you all reading this think. I am not in any danger, I have no intentions of going back to ED behavior. These thoughts happen somewhat often and I just wanted to share them and get some feedback on them.
Let me know what you think!