Emotionally void

Anorexia doesn’t just mess around with physical growth; it also screws up emotional growth. Putting on weight may sort out the physical side; but, in some ways, the emotional one takes longer to fix. 2 stone of physical growth may feel daunting. 17 years of emotional growth is even more so.

Particularly when you’ve become accustomed to keeping your emotions under wraps.

This is what my eating disorder was particularly adept at. It was one of its more honed skills.

Stopping emotions.

Dead.

Angry? Throwing up will get rid of that. Hurt? Forgotten when you’ve retreated in the wonderful world of weight control. Lonely? You can eat until you’re over it. Frustrated? Try a little over-exercise. Bored? There’s plenty out there to keep the food obsessive occupied.

Eating disorders come up with an answer every time. Unfortunately, it’s always the wrong one – and you don’t tend to realise that until you’re starting to get better.

There’s no denying that being angry or hurt on lonely or frustrated or bored is not particularly nice. That’s it’s not just human nature to try and find a way of making it feel better – but there are good ways of doing it and bad ways of doing it.

And feeling something is better than feeling nothing.

By the height of my eating disorder, I’d managed to detach emotions completely. I felt absolutely nothing. I didn’t cry. I didn’t laugh. I didn’t get upset. I didn’t find things funny. I just spent an awful lot of time thinking about food and messing around with food.

This is no way to live.

Because, if the eating disorder doesn’t get to you, the emptiness will.

forgetting_how_to_laugh

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