Many professionals like their patients to personify the ED and call it/him “Ed.” They actually have their patients talk to Ed, and talk about Ed as if he were a person. My therapist has Ed talk to her. I play the role of Ed, and tell my therapist why I, as Ed, am enslaving Julie.
Well, no more.
By personifying Ed, I am giving the ED more power than it deserves. By continuing to relate to the ED as a living, speaking Being with an actual personality, I am assuming, and telling others, such as my therapist, that “Ed” is my “master” and I am his “slave,” and that I do whatever “he” tells me to do.
But the ED is not a “he.” The ED is an illness, not a person. Yes, eating disorders are very powerful. My eating disorder has a lot of power over me, and I have been in its grips for a long time now. I have been delusional because of it. I have done things that don’t make the least bit of sense because of it. I have harmed my body because of it. I have put my life at incredible risk because of it. I have lied and cheated because of it. I have rendered my treatment team useless because of my dishonesty. My ED has affected all areas of my life.
My friends have been incredibly worried about me. I have not always been honest with them, and they knew this. I did not know that they knew this. It turned into a sticky mess. There were some pleading e-mails. There were some e-mails that I did not like. There was a lot of sobbing, screaming, pacing, and pillow-punching on my end.
The ED is powerful all right. But I will no longer call it “Ed.” I will no longer talk to my therapist and tell her whether “Ed” is in the room or not. The ED is not a person. The ED is with me whether I like it or not. Right now, it’s a part of me and it is in me. I do speak with an “ED voice” sometimes. This is a small, girlish voice. I don’t know where this comes from, but maybe it’s just an offshoot of my mental patient days and has nothing to do with the ED.
I am becoming increasingly honest in my day-to-day affairs. I cringe when I lie. I am more honest with my friends. Sometimes, I withhold the truth, though. But it comes out when I’m ready to tell it and when/if it’s appropriate to tell it. This is brand new.
Well, a new life. Onward.