Let’s call them Shapeshifters
To begin, we first need to acknowledge that Disordered Eating and Eating Disorders have REAL functions. They are and sometimes begin as Coping Mechanisms – really good ones! Now, in the beginning, this is helpful however like I said eating disorders are shapeshifters and they start to morph into a massive disordered sense of control. They make the person believe that without it their world would fall apart.
A lot of the time an eating disorder becomes a safe space, a best friend. It is impossible for the sufferer to differentiate between the ED and reality, this is why therapy is so necessary. Therapy creates a gap between the immediate response of an Eating disorder Thought and reality, that gap allows someone like me to slowly offer an alternative, balanced response.
Eating Disorders offer a very false sense of control. Yes, you can control your food intake, portion sizes, quality of food and the way it is prepared however that’s where it ends. You cannot see friends, be spontaneous, exercise for Joy, appreciate your body, be Mindful, experience real connection, go on holiday, use your mind for anything other than counting calories.
Many clients who have experienced recovery would decide their eating disorder as a “living hell.
It is common for your ED to change shape as you embark on recovery. Do it anyway!