One of my main aims when writing this blog is trying to fill the gap between those people whose ED has gotten so bad that they need to be hospitalized and those who have a severe ED, but have not (yet, luckily) lost enough weight to go to a clinic - or just do not feel quite ready to take this step.
Please let me point out first of all that I think that specialized clinics or ED recovery centers are probably the best and most efficient way to deal with your ED. However, I know that (and I am speaking for myself here), it's not easy to take that step. I did not manage to, I did not feel like I could leave my daily life, work, friends, colleagues, family, behind. I do not know if that was a wise decision, but that's just what I felt was the right way for myself. BUT: I would never have been able to recover without a great therapist who I saw once a week. And that's crucial. Even if ou think you can do it on your own - trust me, you need to get professional help.
But when do you get to a point where you have to decide "I need to get help"? That's very individual. For me, it was when I got physically sick. It was just a virus which everybody gets every once in a while. But due to the fact that my body was so weak, I literally could not move any more. I did not manage to get out of bed to go see a doctor. I did not manage to get up and make myself a tea. I could not move. And that scared the hell out of me. That's when I realized that I need to change something. Needless to say that because of that virus, I had again lost some weight. Which - for me - was the good part of it, pathetically. In the meantime I had been brought to my parents (I was living in Paris at the time), and they forced me to go see a doctor. I remember that the lady who was doing blood tests asked me when I had lost so much weight. And I told her "Well, I've never really been fat..." her response: "I know, but right now, you probably don't see it, but you're really a lot too skinny.". That sort of stuck in my head. And a couple of days later I decided that I needed professional help. I called a therapist (a German-speaking one in Paris) and my new life started.....
During recovery I realized that I always felt awkward calling myself "anorexic" - just because I have never had the "right" BMI. I also realized that part of my motivation to keep loosing weight was to be "sick enough" to have the right and get help. I was scared of somebody responding to me "Oh, you think you're anorexic? But you don't like like it!"
Writing that down and reading that makes me realize even more how pathetic this thought was. I knew I had a problem - so why didn't I just stop it before?
I know that I am not the only one who had those thoughts. But think about it:
- If a friend told you he or she had an ED. Would you respond "Really, but you don't look like it!"? Probably not. You probably would try to help your friend, you would do anything not to make him feel ridiculous. Why should your friends do that with you? Have the courage to tell them!
- Eating disorders more than a number. Just because you have "Normal" weight doesn't mean you're healthy. Doctors know that. Everyone who has read a little bit about EDs knows it. You are the only one who does not know it yet.
- If you really trusted yourself, what would you do? Would you keep loosing weight or would you try to take care for yourself and get some help? Start trusting yourself!
- Life is beautiful. Think of all the great things which you want to do in life. Travels, partnerships, moving, seeing things,.... do you really want to jeopardize all those amazing things life is offering you by holding on to your ED?
- Be strong. The fact that you are reading this is showing that you are strong enough to think about ED recovery. Stay strong for yourself! You are perfect.
There is no "I am not sick enough to get help". If you ever had that thought, go and get help. Now.