Why is it truly so hard to let go of my eating disorder?

I feel so stuck in my eating disorder right now. Conflicted between wanting to get better, while still grasping so tightly to my eating disorder. Right now the grasp is tighter than the pull to recovery. Over the months, I've made a list of things that are holding me so tightly to my eating disorder. I feel like there’s so much more tied into my eating disorder than just food and body image (and right now body image isn’t that big of a factor for me anyways). But I feel like I get the food aspect of things under control, and then everything else is still there, and actually gets bigger because I don’t have my eating disorder to help anymore. Which in turn, pulls me back to my eating disorder. I've experienced this enough times, that it makes it scary to even take the steps to let go, because I don't want to be free of my eating disorder completely or even a little bit, because the drivers are still there. And it's so scary to live without my eating disorder.

I made a list of functions of my eating disorder (I always think of more, so this is a shortened version of it.):

It gives me an identity, makes me feel like someone when I don’t feel like I have any value in this world.

Along with the above, it makes me unique, and different.

Emotion numbing/avoidance - feelings of shame, anger, worthlessness, like I don’t belong, unlovable, etc.

It’s what I know best, it’s comfortable.

It’s a safety net - when I feel hopeless about everything in my life, and fear of failure, at least I have my eating disorder to keep me safe.

It helps me feel like I am loved by my family. And even by others who are helping me in the healing process.

Attention - I didn’t get attention when I was younger or in my teens (at least the attention I needed - when it was most important), and my eating disorder helps give me that.

Feeling like it’s mine, I own it, I can control it.

Worthlessness - feeling like I’m undeserving of love and affection, like I’m nobody, like I can’t keep connections.

Keeps me safe from being rejected, because it keeps me isolated from everyone.

Makes my world small - I can’t deal with everything in the big world, and when I’m so focused on my eating disorder, that’s all that matters.

Channeling my negative emotions on myself.

Structure, rigidity, routine, when everything else is chaotic.

Avoiding responsibility - not wanting to grow up, stay young, and be cared for like a child.

Community of friends who get what I'm going through, and are supportive of me.

I know all these things seem trivial, but they're real and big to me. It's scary to let go of something that's been a huge safety net for me in the past.

1 comment:

  1. I can relate to this SO much, wow. This is Haylee A, I don't want my blog linked but I had to tell you that I seriously relate so much. You're not alone Sarah, it totally sucks because it's like a war with yourself 24/7 over what you should do and it seems like no matter what you do it screws you over in the end. Ugh, or at least that is how it is for me. Sometimes recovery seems much simpler though so hopefully with time that will be the case for both of us more and more.