The real problem

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.

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mary said...

"So, Ed? If you can't stand the heat, you really should get out of the kitchen."
~from your last post; )
I love the way you talk to your ED Carrie. It is difficult,I'm sure, but if you keep separating yourself from the ED like this you are on your way to fully letting it go.

We must starve the eating disorders with nourishment!

Anonymous said...

Sometimes just been aware of where it comes from can give you enough ammunition to fight it.

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I'm a science writer, a jewelry design artist, a bookworm, a complete geek, and mom to a wonderful kitty. I am also recovering from a decade-plus battle with anorexia nervosa. I believe that complete recovery is possible, and that the first step along that path is full nutrition.

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nour·ish: (v); to sustain with food or nutriment; supply with what is necessary for life, health, and growth; to cherish, foster, keep alive; to strengthen, build up, or promote


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