MY THOUGHTS THURSDAY: Triggers
It’s 2:54 am and I am wide awake after a great night with great friends. My mind is abuzz, so I decided I definitely had time to blog.
My thoughts lately have been constantly surrounding triggers. What triggers me, what triggers others, and how to deal with them. What can we do to rid ourselves of these sickening things that try to claw their way into our recovery?
I’m going to name some that stand out to me, and rant about them a little bit. If you don’t have an eating disorder, but know someone who does, you may be surprised to hear some of these.
Others’ Eating Habits. This is a huge one. If someone tells me, “All I want is salad,” or, “I barely ate today,” my eating disorder pounces. See, Ed says, it’s normal to eat only salads, or, See, normal people don’t eat. The thing is that eating habits differ from person to person. A “normal person” might be someone who often forgets to eat, gets hungry, and then eats a ton of food. It might be someone who usually has breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. Also, sometimes we all actually FEEL like salad. A person with no disordered eating doesn’t understand that our brains are wired to catch every word said about food. They don’t understand that even the phrase, “I’m so full” can send a rush of anxiety to your brain. They don’t understand because food is just food to them. Focus on yourself, and growing ever closer to developing that kind of relationship with food.
Out-of-Our-Control Situations. I have been working at recovery for long enough to know that whenever a big life event is present for me in which I feel out of control, my eating disorder voices knock around in my brain full force. I have a few times been close to full blown relapses because Ed seeks refuge from life’s battles by means of starvation. Rather than focusing on food, we have to do the tricky thing that sometimes seems impossible: facing the situation head on and gaining perspective and control. This can be obtained through individual therapy, and with the help of friends.
“You look so much healthier!” Or, “Your smile’s bigger!” “Your cheeks are more full!” Whatever the comment may be, Ed only hears, “You got fat.” He can flip compliments around like it’s his day job, and really, it is. I have learned that listening to Ed does me nothing but harm. The problem comes when sometimes it can be nearly impossible to distinguish between Ed’s voice and my own. In the end, I have to err on the side of MY LIFE. What helps me so much is reading blogs, praying, setting reminders. Sometimes reassurance is the best thing possible.
Whatever your triggers may be, focus on your life. And remember that you are a warrior. You’re fighting a freaking illness and doing the opposite of what it so vehemently tells you to do. Keep going, because life, smiles, happiness is worth it.