Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Hearing voices
I read a couple of blogs of people in recovery. It helps me to feel not so alone out here. Struggling with the voice of an eating disorder is a minute by minute struggle. And one that I'm getting a lot better at fighting. One of the bloggers I read gave such an outstanding description of what having an eating disorder in your head is like.

For those of you who aren't going to read her whole post (which, by the way, is well worth reading) she compares it to wearing a set of big heavy headphones like the ones that air traffic controllers use and having Steven Tyler yelling at you. OK, she's far more eloquent.

My point is, it's an accurate metaphor. I hear things (which my bulimia tells me) that are destructive, manipulative, and downright false.

Up until about a year ago, one of those things was that this was a little secret between just us. Me and my bulimia. No one else needs to know. After all, if other people know, they'll say it's stupid, that I'm too old for such a juvenile disease, that I know better. They'll tell me to stop it. And frankly, I needed it. It was my friend, my coping mechanism, my confidante, my last resort. I couldn't bear having it taken away from me.

Now that I've told, there is my bulimia, yelling at me that I've ruined everything. I've told our secret. I've broken our bond. I'm a traitor. Then there's the recovering me who is whispering "good for you." but so quietly, I can barely hear it. Sometimes it's so quiet I think I might be imagining it.

So what do I do to help me hear the recovering voice? A number of things.
  1. I read other recovery blogs. These people are often going through the same shit I am and it's helpful to read their struggles.
  2. I attend a support group.
  3. I also see an eating disorders specialist.
  4. I try very hard to stay in this moment. Right now. Not tomorrow, not yesterday.

The blogs, support group and therapist all serve the purpose of calling me out when I've got some distorted thinking going on and when I'm being reasonable. Sometimes it's hard for me to tell.

Here are some of the blogs I read, just FYI:

ED Bites
Hungry 4 Hunger - this guy has big brass ones.
ED Survivor's Club
Recovery Rodeo

We're all looking for the switch to finally make that change. I haven't found all of the switches yet, but I can tell you there's more than just one.

And that's something I didn't know a year ago. Oddly, it's kind of comforting.

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Blogger Carrie Arnold said...


All I have to say is: holy crap! I can't believe I never noticed you crocheted! That's my other favorite hobby, along with beading.

It's interesting, because when I tattled on my eating disorder, it came back all arms swinging, telling me don't eat, or eat and then throw up, or exercise, or any combination of the above.

Then I take those ED-phones off and find I'm haunted by the silence.

::totters off to go crank up some stellar Celtic rock music::

Blogger Barbara said...

the most important thing I learned in recovery is that my disease wants to kill me. It will lie to me, twist what I feel, anything to bring me back to my knees - believing the lies.

I have learned never to trust my first instinct - to take 30 seconds and examine my first reaction to every freaking thing - just to see if what I think is the next right thing is even based in current reality.

Funny thing, once I understood about the lies, it became easier to turn up the volume to hear the small voice - the truth hiding in the still place.

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