"But I’m not thin enough…" "But I haven’t been diagnosed…" And other excuses you’ve heard.

It’s no secret that with the label of anorexia comes the figure of a stick thin model who eats only greens and loses weight while simultaneously looking drop dead gorgeous. But there is such a stigma towards any other form of eating disorder. According to society, if you’re bulimic you’re a failed anorexic. Binge eating disorder? You’re just fat.

There was a time when I wasn’t diagnosed. I never had the label of suffering. That wasn’t to say the war inside my mind was any less real. It’s like saying that a soldier isn’t a soldier until they get shot. You are still sick. A doctor doesn’t always carry the magic wand. It’s not like you are fine and show no symptoms and then are told by your GP “You’re anorexic/bulimic/etc…” and then all these behaviours and rituals approach you. It’s like everyone expects the magic words to be said and viola, you’re sick.

If only.

It’s a constant battle that you slowly lose. Piece by piece your sanity disappears. I know it’s nice to finally hear those words - some form of sick, twisted pride - but it doesn’t mean the suffering prior is void.

You are fighting with your disorder. Day in, day out. Constantly at war and never carrying weapons. Your disorder is the enemy. The enemy is never going to agree that you have finally won. No. You have to battle and constantly earn your winnings. So in your disorders eyes, you will never be sick enough.

And that’s why so many of us crave a title, some form of debate towards our disorder. It’s as if to say, “Actually I am sick.” But just because you do not carry a title does not mean to say that those whom have been given the diagnoses are any more sicker. Eating disorders, as much as we try to deny it, are about competition. Constantly needing to out do the others. Someone was BMI x - you have to reach BMI y. It’s a stupid game of shadows and we’re following behind people we can’t compete against. You think you’re in control, that you will stop when it suddenly is worthy - it never will be. It’s like a dog race, chasing a goal that keeps on moving. So you keep running. But eventually you get tired and worn out and can’t go on anymore. Did you reach your goal? No. Because it will be a forever moving target and you know it.

I’ve heard people say they’d be good enough if they were dead, somehow I don’t believe that. I think even six feet under your disorder would still be there saying, “You could have got lower, you could have lost more before you died.” And it’s true, you could always lose more. But that won’t change anything. It wont make the pain go away, it just prolongs any emotion - including happiness. And that’s why you started this isn’t it? To be happy. The only way to happiness is to feel every other emotion. Happiness can only be felt when you have pain and sorrow, you learn to appreciate happiness. When you shut down your emotions you don’t feel anything. Yes the pain and hurt and sadness is gone, but so is happiness and love and joy. Yin Yang.

So stop trying to please your disorder, because it will never be good enough to your disorder. It’s a constant game of dog chase tail and you will never win. So give up this desire to please the demeaning voice in your head - because, yes, it does hurt and it takes time to shut the voice out but ultimately it is worth it. 110%.

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