No one likes to be alone for a long time. You start to feel lonely, and you long for someone - anyone - to break the silence that you are living in. You want to speak to someone, to stay with someone, to feel connected and loved. This is a basic human need - we all want to be surrounded by people sometimes.

ED takes this away from his victims. Deep into ED, I wanted to completely isolate myself. Any gatherings or outings probably included food, so I had to avoid them. I did not want to go there and be the only one not eating, and then have to explain (or lie!) that I had already eaten before, was not hungry, etc. Get-togethers also meant that I would see other people - people who were (as ED put it) prettier, smarter, thinner, and more-loved and important than I was. So, why would I go to such things that would only increase my anxiety and worry? Simple. I would not go. I would isolate myself.

In truth, I was not COMPLETELY isolated. I had ED with me the entire time. When no one was around to speak to, ED talked to me. He told me how fat, ugly, hideous, stupid, and useless I was. He whispered insult after insult into my head. He reprimanded me for feeling hungry or wanting to eat something. He called me names when I felt like meeting with people. He told me I was no good, and that the best solution was to stay away from people and only stick with him. And for the longest time, I blindly listened.

But now, in recovery, I am realizing that isolation is NOT fun. I miss my friends, my school, and my family. I want to go out with my friends and watch a movie, go to the park, shop in the mall, go bowling, etc. I want to have a nice conversation with my friends. I want to feel the warmth of having people around me, of sharing stories, of laughing at funny stories, etc. I now feel the innate need to be loved and be around others. If food is part of the gathering and I have not eaten my meals, I will eat. If I have already eaten my meals, then I can confidently explain that I have already eaten - and this time around, it WILL NOT be a lie. I can surround myself with people that I love and who love me. I can feel safe, happy, and comforted that I belong - that to others, I am important and wanted.

ED hates this. And he is constantly making up excuses why I SHOULD NOT go out or meet with people. You are too ugly and fat. You have gained a lot of weight and everyone will notice and comment. You will look so terrible that people will talk about you - or even behind your back. They do not want you around. You do not need them. I am all you need.

Well, ED, you are NOT what I need - or want, for that matter. You are, in fact, the main reason why I am choosing to go out. I no longer want or take refuge in your company. I am surrounding myself with people who love me because I deserve that - to be loved, cared for, and wanted. I am filling my life with important people and precious moments of happiness. And guess what? There is no more room for you in my life. Move over, ED, here comes my life.

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