My real problem was never with food.
Yet I had an eating disorder.
I thought that I had a problem with control. Feeling I couldn't control anything else, I decided to control what I ate. I needed to learn how to fix my control issues, and then the food part would sort itself out. Except I was controlling my fears about food, and not the food itself. I needed to lose the fear, not the control.
Well, okay, I do have some control issues.
The real problem, I was also told, was with my mom (we were too close) or my dad (too distant) or society (diet like a woman so you can look like a boy). Because an eating disorder is not about food. Right?Part of this is true: I had a problem with anxiety and depression years before anorexia even darkened my door. For me, anyway, the anorexia was OCD about food made manifest in the most hideous of ways. It was also an attempt to flee the anxiety and depression. Restricting and over-exercising were a way to self-medicate, to try and make these horrid feelings go away. Didn't work in the end, of course, but the initial promise was fantastic.
But, as Laura so wisely said once, it wasn't food that was my problem. Avoiding food (not eating enough calories, enough variety, and with enough regularity) was my real problem. Stopping the food avoidance was a bit part in "fixing" my "problem."
I don't know if I can say the problem is "fixed." I don't know if you can fix an eating disorder. But I do know the real problem.