Those who struggle with eating disorders or really self hatred of any kind are familiar with the constant back and forth struggle in your head. The negative tape that looks for any vulnerable moment and capitalizes. It may be about food, your weight, body or really about anything at all. The part that really sucks is that voice is pretty persistent, loud and unwavering with very little relief.
Last week I was in the shower after a really long and hard day. The eating disorder was luring me with all it's usual BS about how giving into eating disorder behaviors would make me feel better and fix everything. It sounded great. I was exhausted and my defenses were low. I was patiently listening and hanging on to every lie the eating disorder was telling me. The self hatred spiral had started and I was losing control.
Usually when I get to this point I am committed. "Yes master" is what follows and there is no other debate. But this time was different. Out of no where and without even missing a beat I heard something else. A logical, healthy voice that wasted no time on calling the eating disorder out. "Really? Does this sound like a good idea? Do you really think that this is going to help you? Let's be honest, how exactly is skipping dinner going to make you feel better? Did you forget you had a long day at work tomorrow? Are you really going to make this harder on yourself? How exactly is this going to help you deal with the pain you are feeling?" These questions flooded my mind and caught me completely off guard. As odd as this may sound I even stopped and looked around for a minute to try and figure out where this was coming from. I wasn't used to fearlessly defending myself without having to work really hard at it and these thoughts were coming naturally, without much effort at all.
I remember when I heard nothing but negative all the time, when the eating disorder voice felt like my voice and was all I knew. I also remember when I had to work my butt off to negate everything the eating disorder was saying and how forced, unnatural and difficult it felt. What happened last week was nothing short of a miracle in my eyes. I didn't think about it, it just happened. I stood up for myself and it wasn't uncomfortable, it was magical. It felt right and genuine. MY voice was louder, stronger and WAY more appealing than the eating disorder. I spoke my truth and felt empowered. I couldn't help but smile and even cry some tears of relief after this experience.
To be honest I am not quite sure how this happened. Although I have been working my butt off in recovery for months and even years now, I can't quite pinpoint when the tides turned. For the past few months I have been anxiously longing for the moment when recovery didn't feel so forced and icky. I think I have finally reached that point and I am so grateful. For years I sat quietly, quickly soaking up all of the lies that the eating disorder told me without second thought. That isn't an option now. My voice is strong and my words have power. I no longer need to claim the eating disorder voice as my own. I can distinguish between the two clearly and to me that is the coolest thing ever.