National Eating Disorders Association

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another aha moment

so, i've been posting on the working toward recovery forum, but i thinking i definitely am maintaining recovery with my e.d. but i had another aha moment regarding my other disorders (ptsd, anxiety, depression, bipolar, borderline personality disorder). it was due to two groups that i had here at the hospital. we were discussing compartmentalizing our emotions, and i knew i needed to work on anger and fear, because i have never allowed myself to admit that i get angry at anyone or anything except myself, and i never really confront my fears; i just stuff them and hide from them. so i made a list of things and people at whom/which i'm angry, and a list of what i fear. it was difficult to admit a lot of them but also liberating. i realized that i fear giving up my disorders-not the e.d., because i've kicked it in the tuckus for good, but the others, i've been struggling to get rid of them. so in another group, the group leader asked what do you really want, that is making it so hard to get rid of your (anxiety, etc.)? why are you holding on to it? what do you get from it? i looked into myself and realized that what i really want is love and someone to take care of me. and subconsciously, i've allowed myself to use my disorders to achieve that. it's as though i've told myself that if i keep getting sick, then i'll need hospitals and people there will take care of me, and if i stay sick, my friends will love me more than if i were healthy. it sounds warped, and yet, it's liberating to be able to acknowledge it, because then i'll be able to begin working on it.

dear alwaysthinking

How wonderful you're "maintaining recovery" re: your ED. Would have liked to have been a "fly on the wall" in your hospital "compartmentalizing" group. Speaking for myself of course, maybe I think it's just me or that rare reward for getting older. In the last 10 or 15 yrs. I am able to express my appropriate anger, put it out there. Key is it's never to hurt somebody , but always to (guess the right word is) assert myself, say no (may not come out sounding angry as much as strongly expressing my opinion or objection to someone or something that adversely affects me or someone close to me. Don't know if I'm making any sense. "Wanting someone to take care of me"? Hey, I would love the daughter that shut me out of her life to at least take a little bit of care of me". Ain't gonna happen, but my partner (12 yrs. younger than me) does a pretty good job when needed. My son and his wife are the best but just not around that much. What I realize is that I've compartmentalized the taking care of me in the way that each friend or relative (who can and wants to) fills (takes care of me) in a part of my life. And fact is it wouldn't work if I didn't do the same for them. My late husband use to say "the door swings both ways". Great guy. Miss him. Put some of his ashes around the biggest tree in the cemetery across the street from my house. Sometimes I stand next to the tree and have imaginary conversations with him. We had a lot of laughs. BTW. CC


Hi Alwaysthinking-

I think it's amazing that you have been able to look inward and begin addressing the deeper fears and what it has meant for you to remain 'sick'-- sounds like you are continuing to acquire such important insights. I can relate with finding it difficult to access the emotion of anger and let myself be angry with others. I'm really proud of you for all you are acknowledging and the ways you are continuing to grow <3


I’m glad to hear that you are doing well with your treatment. It’s great that you are having learning moments and that you will be discharged soon.

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