The Best Break Up Ever
Your loved ones are your loved ones for a reason. They want to be there for you and be part of your recovery. They want to wipe away your tears and distract you and show you that life can still be fun. Don’t be afraid to lean on the people closest to you.
Breakups are hard. They are emotionally and physically draining. When my 5-year relationship ended I was absolutely exhausted inside and out. It was arguably the most difficult decision I’ve ever had to make. Nothing has been more gruelling than breaking up with my eating disorder. But then again nothing has ever felt so 'worth it' either. All the emotion and pain I went through compared to my life today... yeah, it was definitely worth it.
Here's how to get yourself through the tribulation of breaking up with your ED:
1. You don’t want to do it, but you need to.
No one does, it's damn scary! Why would anyone want to swing open the door to their fears? But it has to be done. For the sake of your sanity, your health, and your future, the negative relationship with your mind and your body needs to end... no matter how scary and hard the journey is.
2. It’s hard to hurt others, but your ED needs to go.
Break-ups hurt both people. The emotions can often be overwhelming; anger, hurt, guilt, betrayal, confusion, and a sense of helplessness or hopelessness are all common… and justifiable. This is true when ending your relationship with your eating disorder as you have learnt to listen, obey and follow a certain voice whom at times felt like your only friend and protector. As difficult as it may be, you owe it to yourself to end the abuse, even if your ED is upset. You know they need to go.
3. All of your friends and family tell you it’s the right decision and that you deserve better... so listen to them!
It’s hard to believe this kind of statement, even when it’s coming out of the mouths of people you love and whose opinions you respect. But keep in mind, these are the people who know you the best and who are outside of the situation, which gives them a unique perspective (and hopefully, some objectivity). Sometimes, other people really do know what is best for you and I know that deep down you know it's best for you too.
4. You need to find ways to take care of yourself despite the little knowledge you have in doing so.
Raise your hand if you want to wallow in your pain and simply torment yourself further over the stress and struggle that recovering is. Feeling this way is normal and okay, but try to force yourself to pamper yourself anyway, despite how little your ED has educated you in it. It will help remind you of the little love and care you showed yourself under the commands of your ED and that while now you are breaking free it is still tough and exhausting but at least it is also rewarding. The only reward you got from your ED was the bitchy pats on the back which always felt fake and cold anyway.
6. You need to reach out for help and support to your loved ones and not only the 'professional ones' even if it’s the hardest thing in the world to admit you need help to them.
Your loved ones are your loved ones for a reason. They want to be there for you and be part of your recovery. They want to wipe away your tears and distract you and show you that life can still be fun. Don’t be afraid to lean on the people closest to you. Not everything has to be bottled up until therapy time. Remember your recovery team is exactly that; a team, a team that consists not only of professional guides, physiatrists or nutritionists but of your family and friends too.
7. Remind yourself that it's going to take time.
It’s normal, it's expected, it's healthy, justifiable and understandable human behaviour to want the 'pain to end', for it to 'be over'. Don’t apologise for it, and don’t try to force yourself to ignore your hurried feelings of praying for recovery to happen faster. It will take time. The journey is long and hard and it may take lots of time, months and years until you reach full freedom. The fight is tough, and it can't be rushed. Recovery isn't a 'quick fix' but it is possible.
8. Wave goodbye with your head held high.
The great thing about your ED relationship is that all your other relationships will feel a million times better. You will also find that not only your new relationships feel like heaven but your current relationships will naturally begin to improve too. Oh and don't even get me started on your relationship with your mind and body... that just feels the greatest. Get up, dust yourself off, and get back into the real you and your true relationships. The game’s not over yet, you are never quitting. It will be you to say goodbye and it will be you to fall in love with yourself and your life and never look back.
The break up will be hard but you will never miss the relationship.