Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Fighting Ed

I've been laying low for almost a week now. I haven't been perfect. I've been depressed, and I've acted out on eating disorder symptoms. I thought that if I wasn't optimistic about my recovery, or moving forward every day, that I shouldn't be posting on this blog. After all, I want to give you hope that recovery is possible. But, the depression hasn't lifted, and the fight against my disorder has continued to intensify. I kept telling myself that I would feel better tomorrow, and I would post about my progress tomorrow. But tomorrow kept turning into today, and I was still depressed. I felt like I was losing the battle, and I didn't want to write about it. But, if this blog is going to help anyone, it has to be honest. And, recovery isn't perfect. There are bad days; there are days when I'll lose a battle. But, losing a battle doesn't mean I've lost the war. So, today, I'm choosing to write about the hard stuff, the times when I haven't felt optimistic about recovery, and the times when I've slipped up. Let me just say this: relapse is not a requirement for recovery. But, for me, lapses have been part of the journey. The important thing is to learn from the mistakes and keep fighting.

Yesterday, I gave in to my eating disorder, but it was different from any other time I have acted on symptoms. Oftentimes, people refer to their eating disorder as "Ed." Before treatment, I thought it was silly to give my disorder a name, a separate identity from myself. But, I've found that it's the best way to describe it. In my head, there are two people: Lily and Ed. For a long time, Ed got to tell me what to do. I didn't know how to stand up to Ed, so I did whatever he suggested. In treatment, I learned techniques for fighting Ed. Now, I know that he is wrong, but knowing that that doesn't always translate into disobeying him. Yesterday, I won the mental battle, but lost the physical one. I knew that Ed was wrong, that I didn't need my eating disorder to cope with depression. But, I did what he said anyway. I was so exhausted from fighting a mental battle, that I didn't do anything to stop Ed from controlling my actions. Looking back, I know I could have won. I could have called someone and asked for help. I think the reason I didn't was that I let myself believe that nothing would make me feel as good as giving in to Ed. Of course, giving in only made me feel worse. Next time I am exhausted from fighting, I will reach out for help. I know now that there will be days when Ed is stronger than I am. On those days, I will call for reinforcement.


  1. There are so many steps on the path to recovery. A step, or slip, back can give you insight and tools for the next steps forward. I believe that by writing about your experience of losing a battle with Ed, you are also very much claiming a victory for your healing. It can be so hard to take even small steps forward. And you are continuing to do so, one foot in front of the other. You will reap the rewards, Lily. Because you have the grit and determination and support to get up and keep on going. I love you, Mom

  2. Success is wonderful, it's inspiring, it can be a source of great strength. But since no one is ever perfect, I think that falling down, being honest about it and learning from the experience is the greatest source of hope of all.

    What an amazingly honest and amazingly insightful and, yes, inspiring entry. I'm blown away.