National Eating Disorders Association

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anon2019
Need advice on being triggered while in recovery.

I’ve been in recovery for my ED for almost 10 years now. Some things are easier to cope with than they used to be but on the other hand some things make me feel like I’ve time travelled back to the beginning. I’ve been able to eat in front of others for a few years now, but it’s still a struggle.

To give some context, my boyfriend knows of my ED and is very supportive and helpful. His family didn’t know of my ED and aren’t educated on most mental health topics. Also, my boyfriend has a naturally smaller build than me & his family so that’s why his brother excluded him from the joke.

I was putting dinner on my plate in the kitchen with my boyfriend and his sister. His younger brother came in and said “hey fatties, except (my boyfriends name)”. His brother didn’t have harmful intent as it was a light-hearted joke, but as we all know, hearing that while in recovery is not easy. I laughed and tried to play it off but i quickly put my food back and went into the room i’m staying in. I instantly felt nauseous and incredibly disgusted with myself. My boyfriend later came in telling me he informed his brother that i have an eating disorder and can’t say things like that but he didn’t really seem to understand the ED part. I told him i appreciated that but asked to be alone because I was triggered more than i thought.

I started looking up how to cope with ED triggers and found this site. I feel as though I’m back at the beginning, I sort of feel paralyzed. I feel embarrassed for being so sensitive as it was a joke, and I’m also not trying to relapse as those thoughts have flooded my head. I’m afraid to even leave this room.

Any advice on what to so in this kind of situation?

alwaysthinking
Insensitive

I don't think that type of comment is ever a joke. I think that is simply being insensitive because the majority of America if you are from here has sensitivities to weight issues. Granted, I don't know the entire situation but even when I didn't have an eating disorder calling someone a fatty is not a joke and if I were in that situation I would call out that guy in a heartbeat because that just makes me angry. Of course if he were calling me that it's another story but if you were calling a friend of mine that I would call him out on it. I'm just really sorry you had to experience that and I don't think you're being at all sensitive or too triggered. It seems like a very normal reaction whether or not you have an eating disorder. And the fact that Your boyfriend's brother still didn't get it just continues to show how insensitive he was being. I don't know what else to offer in the way of advice because there may not be anything else you can do about this. He may just be one of those people with whom you can do nothing. Welcome by the way and I hope you continue posting

alwaysthinking
Insensitive

I don't think that type of comment is ever a joke. I think that is simply being insensitive because the majority of America if you are from here has sensitivities to weight issues. Granted, I don't know the entire situation but even when I didn't have an eating disorder calling someone a fatty is not a joke and if I were in that situation I would call out that guy in a heartbeat because that just makes me angry. Of course if he were calling me that it's another story but if you were calling a friend of mine that I would call him out on it. I'm just really sorry you had to experience that and I don't think you're being at all sensitive or too triggered. It seems like a very normal reaction whether or not you have an eating disorder. And the fact that Your boyfriend's brother still didn't get it just continues to show how insensitive he was being. I don't know what else to offer in the way of advice because there may not be anything else you can do about this. He may just be one of those people with whom you can do nothing. Welcome by the way and I hope you continue posting

julesthefox
I agree with alwaysthinking.

I agree with alwaysthinking. There’s a difference between joking and just being careless and rude. I’m so sorry you had to deal with that. I feel like I would definitely have a similar reaction. You are not overly sensitive. I’m sorry he hurt you so much. Saying things like that to anyone, eating disorder or not, is never okay.
I do want to congratulate you not only for your recovery, but for coming here for support. That shows how much you are dedicate to stay in recovery despite triggers and setbacks. You are very strong and courageous. I know you have what it takes to rise above this. You are so much more. You know that, and so does your boyfriend. You are deserving of love from others and yourself. You are worthy of care in all forms, including nutrition. Your weight and what you eat do not define you, and they are not why your boyfriend loves you. Try to connect with the truths you know about yourself. What are you passionate about? What kinds of things bring you joy? Maybe find something to do that falls in line with that. Get your mind off of people that don’t deserve your time by focusing on something that does.
Take care,
Julesthefox