Moving Toward the Light
In a blog back in May, I wrote that eating disorders want us “to sit in the dark in order to further [their] own progression.” They are diseases that flourish in isolation and secrecy, keeping the sufferer disconnected from others. It’s only while the afflicted is cut off from everyone that the disease’s lies carry any weight. The aforementioned blog means to shed some light on eating disorders and reach a hand out to those still suffering. However, this blog is the next step on the path. Once we see that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, we have to start moving toward that light. And we do that by getting honest with ourselves, our family and friends, and our treatment teams.
First Things First
We can’t begin to recover from eating disorders until we start getting honest with ourselves. This is a very simple concept that’s extremely difficult to put into practice. Think of the spin we put on things, all the times we inch the goalposts away, and the outright lies we tell ourselves that keep us sick. Maybe we say something like, “once I lose X more pounds, I’ll start eating normally.” Or how about, “I eat like this when I’m depressed. Once I lose some weight, I’ll be happy again and things will take care of themselves.” This type of thing looks ridiculous when you see it on a page in black and white. But it’s exactly the kind of twisted logic that eating disorders create in our brain in order to keep us sick. The first step out of that web is being honest and admitting we have a problem.
Honesty with Those Closest to Us
So we’ve admitted to ourselves that we are struggling with a disease. Now what? The logical step would be that we start talking to our family and friends about it. However, I’m not suggesting that we start shouting from the rooftops. This is a very vulnerable time in our lives and it’s crucial that we share what we’re going through with people we trust. However, trust is a two-way street. After years of sickness, the isolation and deception associated with eating disorders have likely hurt some of those close to us. Therefore, it’s important that we identify those we can rely on for support and unconditional love through a very difficult process.
Talking to Professionals
Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of all mental health issues. Professional help is strongly recommended when attempting to overcome them. This may be a weekly therapist in an outpatient setting or a team of therapists, counselors, and nutritionists in a hospital or residential facility. Either way, we need to be open and honest with the professionals who are treating us. Eating disorders are often a response to some kind of trauma, which often makes honesty very difficult. However, those who are taking care of us are professionals. They have helped many people with stories very similar to ours. In order to get at the roots of our problems, we need to be honest with them.
Ocean Recovery has been treating eating disorders since 2002. Our team of therapists, counselors, nutritionists, and more offer a multidisciplinary approach to heal our clients in mind body and spirit. If you or someone you love is ready to step into the light and get honest about your struggles with eating disorders, please don’t hesitate to give us a call today.