For someone with an Eating Disorder, getting dressed is like bathing suit shopping after participating in an all you can eat hot dog contest. Every. Single. Day. Most people hate doing that once a year when the summer approaches, but for me it’s a daily thing.
As I begin my road to recovery, I must deal with and most importantly accept the changes of my body. I have to be okay with clothes not fitting the same. Accept that my pants are a little bit snugger. My tops not being as loose as they once were. Accepting change is always hard. It is difficult even when it is a positive change. We all like things to stay the same, because it’s easier to deal with the expected. The unexpected brings anxiety and the unknown is scary for everyone.
So instead of trying to get dressed in clothes with buttons and buckles, I try to wear things that don’t highlight the changes. Don’t get me wrong. I notice every change. With an Eating Disorder, you become so aware of your body you notice every little thing. But there are strategies I put into place so that it doesn’t bother me. As much.
The biggest thing I try to remember each and every day, whenever I get caught up in any ED moments is that I have to get out. I cannot continue to live like this. Worrying, obsessing, thinking, analyzing and putting so much pressure on myself. If I continue to emphasize on the changes in a negative way, I will not be able to move forward. I will eventually be a mother of the groom who looks like a skeleton dancing with her son at his wedding.
When I have heard stories and met women in their 60’s and 70’s who have suffered for most of their lives it makes me so sad to think that those are the memories they have when looking back.
The other day my oldest son reminded me of a time years ago when Rob went on a business trip to Singapore.
“Mom, remember when dad left you said that we were going to be lazy for the next two days. We were allowed to sit in our pj’s, watch movies, eat junk food and use our electronics for 48 hours. You are the coolest, that was fun.”
That’s what he remembers. I’m glad that’s how he remembers it.
I remember it like this:
When Rob left for the airport, I went to the washroom and ingested way too many laxatives. This was all premeditated so I knew that I had to have a plan put into place for my kids. They would like doing nothing but eating crap and watching tv. I knew I would be sick, nauseous and in the washroom for the following 24-48 hours. At the time it seemed like a good plan. Looking back, I’m sick. Disgusted that I lost that time with my boys. I’ve said it before. You never get time back.
So, those 60 and 70 year old women who look back and remember their life with an eating disorder, is what I am doing right now in my 40’s. If I don’t recover from this, I will be just like them.