Recovering from ED takes a lot more work than you'd think. If the patient is underweight, the obvious thing is to get them to a healthy weight. Sounds easy, right?
Wrong. It would be easy if we were talking about someone without ED. However, victims with ED are absolutely terrified of food. So, getting them to eat is a challemge. And, if you are lucky enough to get them to eat, you have to persuade them to eat enough. Then, you have to help them finish all their food.
Before I eat, I am anxious because I know that I am about to put food into my mouth. ED is screaming, telling me not to touch the food. To make up an excuse not to eat. To only take a little bite, and no more. To look at the food and see myself getting fat because of it.
While I'm eating, I try to distract myself. I try not to focus on the food. I mean, it tastes good and all, but I have ED telling me that I am weak. Powerless. Fiflthy for consuming food. Lazy and useless for giving in to my body's demands for nourishment. A failure at life.
After I've eaten - which is already horrifying - I have a gazillion feelings rushing through me. There is guilt because I have eaten - I have consumed the very thing that I am very afraid of. There is anxiety because ED tells me that I will gain weight. There is hatred for myself for being so greedy, so weak because I actually ate something.
So, you can see how ED can torment me all day long. He talks to me before I eat, while I'm eating, and after I'm done eating! And it hurts. He knows just what to say to get me down, to make me feel horrible and not confident. To make me cry.
The solution? Well, I wish there was a quick fix. I suppose I have learned to drown his voice whenever he decides to invade my brain. While I am eating, I talk with my friends or family - this lessens the focus on the food. If we can, we plan games like Table Topics or Scruples (by the way, anyone should invest in these! They are great!). After I am finished eating, I make sure that I know what I am going to do next - be it a puzzle, studying, calling my friends, watching TV, reading, etc. This ensurse that ED cannot creep in and distract me from my life - I am one step ahead of him. I'll be too busy to listen to his annoying and hurtful comments.
Before I eat...well, if all is well, I am great at keeping myself busy. I have trained myself not to think about the food before I have eaten it. This way, my entire day is not consumed about thoughts of weight, shape, food, etc. I love to do things - anything. Distractions or activities are a lot of fun, and they sure do keep my mind off ED. Whether it is writing this blog, reading a good book, shopping with my friends, watching a movie - I have a back-up plan against ED at all times.
Who would have imagined that a simple and mandatory thing in life - providing my body with the nourishment it needs to function - could be so much work?! Well, that is ED for you. He is relentless; he will not stop nor give up easily. The only way to be sure that he does not have the upper hand is to be on duty, watching out for him 24/7. Tiring? Of course.
But worth it? Definitely.