Yes, we’ve all been told that eating disorders are just like alcoholism, that we can stop whenever we want, that these are addictions, that it’s just like the bottle, that all we have to do is make up our minds….
…that all we have to do is go to “treatment,” that there are plenty of rehabs….
…these rehabs are affordable….insurance pays for them…we all have wonderful insurance…we can all get loans….We can all buy plane tickets to these places…..Or take out our wings and fly…..
…that all we have to do is make up our minds, the monster “Ed”, or our loving families….
…that truly, we must be evil people because we are choosing, over and over, our eating disorders, that really, this shows just how weak and immoral we are, that truly there must be something wrong with us that “treatment,” which is plenty available and has been around for years does not work on us….
…that there is oh so much research done on all eating disorders, for certain, research that is applicable to us so surely, we should have gotten better by now, surely this means the fault lies with us, right? We are to blame, not the System….
It’s time for our relatives and friends to disown us, right? Cuz really, we have chosen to be sick! We have chosen our eating disorders over these oh so loving relatives and friends, and they should be insulted.
Well, folks (weaving in and out of lovely sarcasm here)….eating disorders are not the same as alcoholism. There are similarities, but they are not the same. A person can be an alcoholic and also have an eating disorder, true. But you can’t say that an eating disorder is purely an addiction. I personally believe that eating disorders are far more complicated than putting down the food like you put down the bottle.
Why? We’d all have it solved by now if that were the case. But we don’t. Let’s all just quit food, stop eating, and see what happens, eh? I doubt that will solve the problem. Or we can follow strict meal plans and police ourselves but that sounds to me like another obsession, hardly freeing.
Funny story: When I was a slave to a meal plan, I was like a drugged robot, and I had no time for anything but weighing and measuring. That was slavery for sure. I’m glad that “phase” didn’t last too long. Food prep took hours daily, and my food bill put me over the edge financially. I had to have “special food”….ridiculous.
One day, while still following the slavery meal plan, I ended up (this is funny) at a halfway house, and had to sneak in my “special food.” It started to stink and get moldy…I had to lie to the halfway house staff (per orders the person who put me on this meal plan) and pretend I wasn’t hiding the “special food” on the premises…had to lie and say I was eating regular food…had to cover up that I was actually measuring everything, storing everything in Tupperware containers….tried to do dishes in the bathroom with hand soap….my poor roommate said the room smelled like a fart…she was right….
I mean, get real. Those nightmare days are over. Many, many years ago, the years my dad was dying, to be exact…..
My point is this: We did not go to Amazon, browse around, and choose “Eating Disorder.” We did not have our eating disorders shipped to us and these eating disorders didn’t come to us in packages. We can’t recycle them or toss them out like you toss out a substance such as a bottle of whatever. They aren’t substances such as drugs or alcohol that you can live without. As a matter of fact, our doctors are insisting that we take in food. That food is essential to life. With eating disorders, there is no “substance” unless you count auxiliary substances such as laxatives.
The problem is in our heads, or wherever it is that thought happens. You want us to toss that out the way someone can toss out a bottle? Just try it.
I have never heard some loving family member say to someone with cancer, “It’s your cancer, or me. Your choice. You choose.” Did my mom say that to my dad when he was dying, some 15 years ago? Did she turn her back on him when he needed her most? Was she insulted when his tumor got larger, thinking he had blown it again, turned his back on her? Did she get mad at him when the radiation didn’t work, tell him he had bad morals, that it must be his fault?
No, she didn’t, but she sure as hell hated changing diapers. At least she admitted it.