I’ll be the first to admit that I have a tendency to wall myself off from others when the going gets tough. I don’t know where it comes from, but there’s this part of me that just wants to “fly solo”. I imagine it could be termed “self-reliance” or even “strength” but most of the time it’s just plain old FEAR. Fear that others will respect me less, like me less after finding out that the real me is…well, MESSY. Not perfect. Not all together. Not always on my game. So, when the going gets tough, I get going…off on my own. I may consult with my partner or my parents, but mostly I just isolate and ruminate.
What I discovered during my recovery from binge-eating disorder is that the voice of my eating disorder (or “Ed”) told me to avoid everyone who might help. In fact, Ed told me that no one could help me. I had to do it alone. Actually, Ed usually wooed me into thinking I could solve all my own problems (how nice of him!). But soon his messages turned into things like, “No one wants to hear you whine about the fact that you’re struggling with the same issues you struggled with for over a decade” and “You don’t need anyone else. Just stop eating junk food and everything will be okay.”
It wasn’t until I started 1) tuning into Ed’s voice; 2) noticing how mean Ed is; and 3) countering Ed’s comments with more uplifting ones that I realized there is STRENGTH IN CONNECTION with others. Is it possible that I might wear thin my welcome with certain friends if I’m always complaining/whining instead of simply sharing how I feel? Yes. But it’s a risk I had to take and have to remind myself to continue to take. Those among my family and friends who truly care about me actually enjoy it when I lean on them for support. It gives them a chance to show they care and to give back to me since I so frequently am supportive of them.
So, who can you lean on today to help you in your journey towards healthier eating?
Peace, joy, and health,