Here a Trigger, There a Trigger

Eating disorders can be difficult to recover from let alone facing triggers that we are exposed to in every day society.

Last night I met with one of my Sponsee’s at Alta Coffee in Newport Beach. She was telling me about a difficult visit from her mom. She found it triggering to stick to her meal plan and eat nutritiously while her mom barely ate and restricted her food. I can’t blame her, if the person who is supporting her treatment and recovery from her eating disorder displays Eating Disordered behavior why would she want to stick to her meal plan?

Unfortunately this one trigger is just one of the millions of triggers that lay ahead of my sponsee on here road to recovery. The facts are that we live in a very “Pro-Eating Disorder Society” where dieting, cutting carbs and over exercising is not only acceptable, but praised. So the question is “How does one maintain and grow away from their eating disorder when everyone around them is pushing them back towards it?

The answer I had for my sponsee was fairly simple, “You could very well toss out your meal plan and just go back to not eating. And if you did eat you could always purge it. There’s no one physically stopping you so why wouldn’t you do it? I’ll tell you why, because you know where the road of starvation takes you. Starving, binging and purging leaves you out of control without a job, a college drop-out, a victim of rape, depressed, angry and alone. The people around us who are active in their eating disorders are not happy people. They are terribly frightened that they aren’t good enough so they starve themselves to be good enough, but unfortunately it is never enough. If starving, binging and purging was the answer to happiness than there would be no rehabs or eating disordered therapist. No one who starves, restricts, binges and purges is a happy person. It’s your choice. You can participate in your eating disorder and compete with people in theirs or you can start taking care of your body and having integrity over it.”

There is a saying in the recovery world, “You can spot it, if you got it.” It means that you can see other peoples eating disorders because you yourself have an eating disorder. I am all too aware of peoples behavior around food and exercise and it does a lot of the time make me angry to see people active in an Eating Disorder. I see the anger as a good thing though, I’m not angry that I choose not to participate in their disease, I am angry that there is a disease controlling the people around me and they don’t know it. They don’t know how dangerous an eating disorder is. How small and lonely your life can become with it. When I think about that I then feel a bit of sympathy for the people struggling and still trying to figure it out. I say a little prayer that they’ll figure out soon that a size zero won’t guarantee you a husband, awesome friends or a six figure job and that I pray that I remember that too.