Home » Recovery » ED » The impact of my family’s reaction to my ED

The impact of my family’s reaction to my ED

I’m firm in my belief that ‘family’ is one of life’s greatest blessings. And I am blessed to have a pretty huge one – and that’s downplaying it haha. When I lost myself, I lost those around me as I drew away from socializing into my own world of control and unhappiness.  Obsessed with my ‘perfect’ diet, my ‘perfect’ workout plan, my ‘perfect’ schedule for the day! I was surrounded by loved ones every day – I still am – but contact was kept to a minimum. I don’t want to get carried away and make it sound like I’m at a great place now with daily interacting, but it’s gotten better.  There’s a part of me that struggles sometimes, to figure out if I genuinely want to chill alone…it’s not easy to understand myself all of the time. More so when I’m not sure about the way I really am.
When my underweight/disordered mindset became known to those I’m living with, and they began to see the difficulty I was having in overcoming my demons, the reaction from each of them differed greatly. My parents were just <3…gosh I have no words! Through coming clean from my ED, they gave me unconditional love and support. All of a sudden, after years of holding back – I was pouring out my heart to them and I could see the raw emotion they felt for me in their eyes. It saddened me immensely to see the grief I was causing my Mum and Dad, yet at the same time my heart swelled with ecstasy at the amount of love they had for me, which I was seemingly unaware off. It was incredibly strange that from wanting to hide my pain from them, to wanting to tell everything..to get it off my chest. To let them try to understand what was happening inside my mind.                    I thought I was a strong person. I would never dream of crying in front of Mum and Dad in one of my pitiful sobfests; that kind of thing was reserved for happening when I was alone and planted in my pillow. But once they knew about everything, there were 2 occurrences where I had a breakdown with them nearby. And I’m going to say it was so much better having them comforting me than when I would wait to be alone. When I saw my Dad cry with me I made up my mind; I would get better. I would overcome this. No matter how testing, I would get through it. Just to make things clear – I have not had another breakdown since then nor have I felt close to it.

The first few weeks of eating more were painful. Literally. Every inch of me hurt in a way a bruise would. Just touching on my skin caused me to ache. My head felt heavy and every step felt strenuous. I tried to understand where I was in recovery by reading up on as many trusted articles as possible. In that time I had this unusual need of wanting my family to be able to relate to what I was experiencing. I could barely believe the way I was feeling myself but the more I read, the more things starting making some sense. I showed some articles to my Mum and I have no idea why, but in that time it felt important for those around me to know that I wasn’t pretending anything and what I felt was very real. With siblings however things are often very..light hearted. As in they don’t look deeply into an issue concerning one another when it’s something they have little no knowledge on. Sadly my siblings know absolutely nothing about Eating disorders. At least they where totally honest with me and said they have no idea what I’m going through. Due to a mixture of feelings on my part – one of them being I didn’t want to be over-dramatic or looking for pity – I refrained from getting into a thorough discussion with them about it. I’m not going to kid you though, I felt frustrated and hurt that they didn’t at least try to figure out things from my point of view. That other than remarks of “eat more” and the like, the bottom line: they didn’t know what I was going through. I know they love me – and me them – and they only want what is best for me. As time goes on I’m starting to see that having my siblings react they way they do to my disorder, it’s a doing me good… in living away from my ED..that life does not evolve around my ‘eating habits’ and that they don’t have me under any label due to it.  The clingy need for wanting someone to relate to didn’t die. That’s where recovering and GENUINELY healthy hlb’s come in.

Ultimately it is this need of wanting to speak out and be understood that brought me to blogging

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