My eating disorder destroyed my relationships. It left me numb, angry, depressed, and alone. My eating disorder did not let me have any companions besides the ED itself. It was too exhausting. Other people ruined ED and I’s relationship. They got in the way of food rules. They did not eat how I did. They took away from workout time. They disrupted my strict food routine. In my eating disorder, it was just me and the disorder doing “life,” or at the time what seemed like fully living, by ourselves.
The relationships broken hurt me, yet I was to sick to let that motivate me on my journey towards healing. The relationship with my parents slipped away from my fingertips, and that was the one that hurt the most.
Meal time was a war zone in our household. My parents, two of the people whom gave me so much love and light, become enemies in my eyes. They wanted to feed me, something my disorder and I did not want in the slightest. I began to see my parents as horrible human beings just because they were trying to nourish me. They spent years talking to my eating disorder instead of Alyssa, and I can’t imagine how exhausting and frustrating that must have been.
I never thought I’d be able to repair this relationship. When things were bad in my household, they weren’t just a few raised voices here and there. It was tears, thrown yogurts, yelling, and days went without speaking to give my family members the silent treatment. I saw very little hope in living a normal life again and having my relationships, especially the one with my Mom and Dad, be fixed.
When I went into treatment on my own terms and willingly admitted to my mother that this disorder was suffocating me, I began to feel the chains of this disorder loosen. I began to feel something besides extreme anger and frustration, and it was an incredibly powerful moment for me. Fast forward to when I was out of treatment and to the start of a new year where I was actively trying to shove my eating disorder to the curb, I had more powerful moments like that. And I was beginning to see that without my eating disorder, I could feel my Mother’s love. And because my eating disorder wasn’t holding me hostage and letting me simply feel, I was able to reciprocate that love back to her. Fast forward a few months, I was able to do the same thing for my Father. When I stopped caring so damn much about how many calories I was eating and if I ate too much etc. etc. etc., I could care about others, and others could have more emotions towards me besides worry and fear; for they saw that I was getting ahold of my life and this disorder. I was working towards freedom.
I apologized to my parents several times. They apologized to me. There was tremendous forgiveness: of myself, of my parents… forgiveness that my parents had to grasp for themselves and of me. Trust had to be earned that I would not slip back into ED’s ways: both on my end and my parent’s. With time, this all flowed together. With time, I began to realize how much love I had in my heart that I wanted to share with others. This emotion had been taken from me for so many years while living in my illness, and I was so happy to spread it. My friendships returned: both old and new, my brother and I became closer, and my parents and I were able to have a wonderful, healthy, loving relationship despite all that we had gone through on this journey of healing together.
Time heals all wounds. But first, you need to actively work on healing your own.
Seek help: for yourself, knowing that when you are your best self, you can give so much more to others and have stronger relationships. Let go of your eating disorder. Soften. You will see how when you let go of ED, you will regain back these connections you thought were long gone.
Find some fight in your soul. An ED will not take all connections and healthy relationships from you if you don’t let it.
Have a blessed weekend friends! Hope you do something kind for yourself and spend time with the people who make you smile. xoxo