Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Breaking Through. And Edie.

I am an emotional eater. I always have been. As I've mentioned before, my eating past is very disordered. I was also under an immense amount of pressure to "succeed": academically, professionally. This was seen as most important and I felt stifled and not encouraged to explore other passions or let my personality bloom.

Food has always been a source of comfort to me. When I was restricting, it was what I couldn't have, the "forbidden fruit". When I was bingeing, it filled the giant, painful void inside. It numbs me out, makes me feel better, happier, "fuller". The thought of not eating emotionally is terrifying.

But I have to do it.

It's not a healthy coping mechanism. I need to recognize, address, and appreciate my emotions. I need to find healthy manners of dealing with feeling uncomfortable, agitated, bored, or lonely.

Even if I can't fully do it for me, I can do it for my children. I want their mother to be happy, free, and balanced.

In eating disorder recovery, some therapies encourage splitting away from your disordered self, identifying it as Other. While I was thinking about this, the name "Edie" came into my head. I picture Edie as a small, fragile, frazzled child. She needs attention, love, and understanding. Edie wants to eat the world to feel better when, in reality, she needs a cuddle and a push on the swingset. Instead of fighting with her and trying to hold her down during a tantrum, I will embrace Edie and talk to her more; try to understand her and comfort her. Edie isn't hungry all the time but she needs to feel whole and safe. I can't be fully recovered until Edie is, if that makes sense. While Edie isn't all that I am, she is a part of me I need to address and stop trying to push down with food.

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