i know that many, many people have found great peace and comfort in jenni schaefer’s books, Life Without Ed and more recently, Goodbye Ed, Hello Me. and as far as i’m concerned, if something helps people with recovery, it’s 1000% worthwhile. i respect her a lot, and absolutely recognize her profound impact on the eating disorder recovery community.
but you will never find me referring to the eating disorder that nearly killed me as a person – some guy named Ed.
as shitty as it is, this disorder is a part of me. i cannot divorce myself from it; it lives in the crevices of my frown lines, the pregnant pauses between my still-wary heartbeat. it’s the thump in my gut when i walk past old b/p foods in the supermarket, the ping behind my eyeballs when i accidentally drink too much coffee on a too-empty stomach and feel the familiar high start to take over my body.
i thoroughly understand, on a cognitive level, the metaphor of making one’s eating disorder into an abusive boyfriend . but it doesn’t sit right with me.
maybe it’s because the whole “eating disorder = E.D. = Ed” just reeks of the pro-anorexia monikers of “ana” and “mia.” maybe it’s because the thought of me dating a guy at all is, to anybody who knows me, purely laughable (if you missed the episode on this, i love ladies. /end de-brief.)
or maybe i feel like it’s relieving responsibility.
yes, eating disorders are a mental illness and yes, they are an addiction. there are physiological and psychological components that pull us further and further into ourselves, our personal hells, every moment that we’re wrapped up in the cocoon on illusions.
but the first thing you learn in recovery is that you are responsible for your actions. and yes, it sucks, and yes, sometimes you feel goddamn powerless to stop yourself. but it truly is up to you to detangle yourself from the net of illusions and lies in which you’ve ensnared yourself.
this disorder is a part of me. maybe forever. and while it’s definitely shitty, i refuse to be ashamed. i refuse to divorce it from myself. because for better or for worse, it has molded me. and it’s not some crappy boyfriend named Ed, no more so than it was my besties named Ana and Mia.
it is a facet of ME. and i am proud.