The “Ed” theory

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.

3 thoughts on “The “Ed” theory”

  1. Hey, Julie. You are a strong, brave woman with much talent to share with the world.
    I want to ahare with you my own food “secret…”
    I recently joined OA, Overeaters Anonymous. I have been using emotional overeating for years to avoid dealing with uncomfortable feelings, depression, loneliness, anger, etc.

    The good news I am doing better already, eating more slowly, tasting my food, pausing to chew and digest my food.

    So we seem to be on opposite sides of the spectrum, huh?


    1. Hi Marsha,

      Emotional eating is one of those complicated phenomena that is still so misunderstood….

      Chewing food and eating slowly is important. Here are things I’m guilty of that I’ve stopped doing: eating at the computer, eating standing up, not using a napkin, not washing my dishes promptly or properly (not that I ever had many dishes to clean), not keeping a clean kitchen. I only eat at the computer now when I eat a meal “together” with friends via Skype. And of course, there’s cooking to worry about now.


  2. Hi Julie!
    I like your idea here, naming and anthropomorphizing a thing gives that thing a great deal of power which seems retrograde to the purpose. I wish you didn’t have to battle through this after everything else you’ve gone through, but I know you’ll win this fight too and I much admire your perseverance. Big hugs!

Feedback and comments welcome!