More threads by Ashley-Kate

I thought it interesting to write a list of things not to say to someone with an e-d or recovering or conversations to have with someone with an e-d. It may be helpful for those of you that don't know what to say! I will talk in the "they " form cause well it just seems more impersonal and I don't really want to say "I"

  • don't talk about calories! they know more than you and they will just obsess on the conversation and well they already think about it 24 hours a day and could use a break!
  • don't talk about weight - your weight, there weight - unless you bring it up in a sense I am worried about you or something cause if you tell them they lost weight they look thin or other that will just increase their obsession cause they will feel gratified and want to lose more so that their weight loss is even more noticed to basically make sure that they really are thin enough and then they will spiral out of control trying to lose more and more weight to eventually try themselves to see that they are thin but they won't be able to cause the disease won't allow it!
  • try not to talk about the physical part of her or him that's changed - go with the emotional part, the attitude part, cause physical although important from a medical standpoint for you as a friend or family member "we" look for support and hope, not the talk about how we are killing ourselves! we want to know that you love us!
  • don't join in our obsessions - if we talk about food don't get mad, just change the subject really quick cause then we will just see that you just don't want to talk about it rather than you are mad at us then leaving us with the feeling of just not being perfect enough!
  • don't tell us that we are ugly, too thin, or other ! cause we don't see it - we see fat so if you tell us we are ugly or too thin although somewhere in our heads we know it to be true we can't see it so it will only increase our frustration cause we will feel that you are lying, that you are just trying to control us, and that we are basically truly fat (although girls and boys we are not fat) - again keep with the emotional part and not the physical
  • Be a friend - talk to us like we haven't changed and if you can't take it anymore the whole smiling and pretending nothing is happening every once and a while take us aside and tell us that you love us and that you care for us and that you don't want us to waste away.. let those speeches become more frequent as you see we will slowly see we are losing it and want to latch on to something ..
  • when we say we have had enough and we burst into tears hold us and give us hope don't place blame! help find solutions - try to make us see the real picture
  • if we ask if we are thin or things like that, don't answer yes, don't answer no either, just change the subject - if you answer yes we will feel empowered and want to lose more - if you answer no we will want to lose more.
It may seem complicated but may I remind you in some days of this disease there is nothing right to say cause I as an anorexic/bulimic will distort everything you say - if you tell me I am thin you are lying, if you tell me I am fat (which you won't) then I need to lose more, no matter what the disease wins .. but sometimes in conversations through emotions I will crack because those things so unfamiliar will make me realize that I am human and therefore am not immortal ..

yours truly
  • don't tell us that you understand how we feel and how we think cause no matter how much you read into it no mater how much you try to understand you can't really! and we know that! You can't understand the incapacity we have to look at food as something nurturing you can't understand how we look at ourselves and see the opposite of what you see!
  • listen when we talk to you about emotional stuff! about the stuff that makes us feel cause if we don't express it we will end up trying to control even more cause emotions are something that we yet again feel we don't control! and that if we feel if we are sad then we are not perfect and for someone with an e-d that is really hard to realize
  • hold us give us a hug make us feel loved even when we don't want it hold us cause as we shrink our bodies we try to regain a childish shape but grow such distance and Independence we sometimes forget that we are human and need affection.
  • Don't make us the center of attention cause it could either upset us a great deal or feed into the disease even more cause if we are seen to be anorexic or bulimic then well in my case i felt that i needed to be thinner if i truly had an e-d and i spiraled out of control ! and in the opposite situation we will get upset and that not being allowed in our perfect little act we will hide it and control even more our e-d
  • Don't allow us to skip the meals! even if you have to tie us to the chair .. okay maybe not to that extreme , but make us sit at the table if we are still at home! if not then if you are a husband or a roommate eat with the person their at normal meal times. the more you allow us to skip meals the more we think we can get away with
  • Don't fall for the i already ate! we didn't!!! it's the oldest excuse in the book! never believe and anorexic when she tells you she already ate unless of course she is in recovery and doing good! otherwise she just wants to getaway with not eating
  • Don't fall for the i don't feel good !!! it's just another excuse! and it shouldn't work cause well the comeback is !!! you don't feel good cause you didn't eat !!!
  • Be aware of the words we use, our mood and behaviors! a person that has an e-d is often very depressed and one of the reasons of death in e-d's is suicide!
  • As soon as we tell you we want out!!! don't wait cause our need to get out is often temporary as soon as we fall into another high of the disease and want to lose more! it's harder to help someone tat doesn't want help and that is very ill then someone that asks for help and is very ill!!! internal motivation works better than external motivation
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