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  1. #1

    Out of the darkness and into the light...looking for answers

    Ok...so, here goes;
    My name is Mandalyn--hey everyone :) Umm... I was just recently diagnosed with...the B-word. Yeeeeah, anyway....I'm sorta at that point where I want to talk about it with people to get a better idea of how to deal with this given behavior, diagnosis, genetic plague....whatever it is. I'm scared--no, ashamed to tell my family and friends because quite frankly I don't want anyone to think of me as "weak". Even though I try not to think that way, its just one of those those pesky stereotypes pinned to a predetermined image---does that make sense? Point being, I want to get help and support while remaining anonymous and keeping my pride.
    From what I've read sofar, a lot of peole here probably feel the same way....so I'm hoping that we can relate in a few more ways. Does anyone have any tips, advice, or experiances to maybe make me feel like I'm a little more than a mere statistic in controversal dissorder?
    Thanks for any help....
    Mandalyn

  2. #2

    Out of the darkness and into the light...looking for answers

    You are not your disorder. None of us are. You may feel like this is a big part of you or defines you in some way or that this is all people will see when they look at you, but you are so much more than bulimia or any other ed. An eating disorder is a maladaptive coping mechanism, it's not who you are as a person. Having taken that 1st step in reaching out for help, you will be able to come to understand things a lot better, especially in terms of what role your ed serves and eventually learn better coping mechanisms. I'm assuming you are in therapy b/c you said you've been diagnosed? It takes time, this didn't come onto you overnight, so you won't be able to get rid of it overnight either. It's also a lot of hard work, but the way I see it, living with an eating disorder is a lot of hard work too, so if you know going for therapy could potentially help you and all you really have to do is give it a shot, then that seems to make a whole lot more sense than living w/ an ed. It's scarry to confront any part of use that we're not happy about, but the more you're able to face it, the more the scarry feeling will fade.

    If you let this disorder determine who you are that is all that will be left at the end of the day, but it's your call. I know what you mean by being "just another statistic" but we're all statistics one way or another... ie. by being a female you're a statistic, by being an athlete, by being a student etc.

    Part of recovery could definitely involve telling people who you trust, even just for social support. It's a hell of a time in this if you're on your own. Your family and friends won't think of you as weak, they'll most likely be concerned about you, maybe even confused as to what an ed is and how this happened, but they won't be mad or ashamed or think you're weak. You're strong, actually for seeking out help. I can relate w/ wanting to keep that "perfect" image and I guess one's pride, but not only is this exhausting but it's not even true... things aren't perfect, so all you're really living up to and fighting to save is a mask, an imagined image. That's a stereotype, not you admitting that you have an ed and fighting to get better. Do you want to know what comes to my mind when I think of someone w/ an ed who's in therapy? Courage. Motivation. Strength. Desire. Committment. Openness. Doesn't sound so bad, does it?

  3. #3

    Out of the darkness and into the light...looking for answers

    Hi, and welcome to the forum. Eunoia's right. After I had been through a recovery process from anorexia I told my boyfriend about it and the fact that I went to therapy. When I told him that he said, Oh you did that? Good for you!
    Facing your problems shows courage and strength. I think one part of recovery is getting beyond stereotypes and what other people think (or what we think they think) and learning to concentrate on ourselves and our own inner voices and what they mean.
    I'm not trying to be hypocritical, because I don't think I'm there yet, but as long as you realize that the eating disorder is just something in your life that you have to deal with - an obstacle that might make things tough sometimes. Other people without eating disorders have other things in their lives that they have a hard time dealing with. We have to do our best to get beyond these things so that they don't harm us anymore. Not being in denial is a first step to getting better, but at the same time you have to realize that not one thing defines you. You are many things - a woman, a daughter, a friend, a coworker, ect - and sometimes you become more things, and sometimes these things change. Your eating disorder definitely does not define who you are.
    I think also in therapy you'll discover that the eating disorder isn't just simply the eating disoder in and of itself. It's a manifestation of many things - fears, emotions, etc.
    Anyway, keep us posted on how you're doing.

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