My brother is an alcoholic, and while he’s been recovered for over 20 years, he’s still pretty active in AA. He goes to meetings, he counsels others, he volunteers, he works the steps. And though I don’t envy him and the battles he’s faught, he has something I don’t. Support. And acceptance. And a modicum of understanding.
When he’s feeling low or struggling, he calls his sponsor and heads to a meeting. Anywhere in the world – even on a cruise ship – you can find Friend of Bill W. meetings. And there’s no shame, because everyone there as does just as shitty things as you have.
But for me, I don’t have that. I don’t have ED friends. There’s no ED support group within a 2 hour drive of here. I thought about OA, but I don’t overeat and I’m thin. I think I’d be stared out of the room. I just don’t eat, and when I’m stressed I eat less and what I eat I purge. Or cut. Or bruise. Or burn. My mission now – besides recovery – is to separate out what are “normal” thoughts and what are ED. I know some – the bitch voice is definitely ED. But when I push myself beyond my limits time and time again – that doesn’t seem normal. When I measure and weigh my food, or refuse foods because I just can’t eat them, that’s ED. But what about when I pass up the pizza and brownies at the soccer party? When the idea of bringing a pasta dish to a potluck supper as requested gives me the heebie-jeebies?
ED is a lonely journey. We’re all different, and by nature we hide this nastiness from everyone including friends and family. And let’s face it, the F/F I’ve shared this with don’t get it. I talked with said brother the other day, trying to explain why my firing D2 was a good thing, and he didn’t understand why I need someone to tell me what to eat. This from the only man I know who has any inkling of “inappropriate compensating behavior.”
This is a lonely painful journey, which is why I started this blog. I don’t need a journal – got one! But what I need more of is an understanding of what we’re doing and why so I can stop doing it. Or at least try to stop. Do you have a group? Is it helpful? I’m just so tired of bearing all of this weight alone, and yet I can’t talk about it with “normal” people because they’ll freak out.