I had made up my mind to write this post early this morning before I got out of bed. But then, I went to an appointment with my doctor and she told me how she has been reading my blog, but it took her a second to realize who Ed was. I totally understand. I also understand if someone who reads this blog and is suffering from an eating disorder hates the idea of naming their eating disorder. Because that’s who ed is, my Eating Disorder, ED.
No offense to anyone reading this who has someone beloved with the name ed, but I despise that name. It used to be a name that I just wasn’t too fond of…Edward is fine, I actually like the name Edward. But ed…nope. That is why it is the perfect name for my “other identity”. I often feel like I have this side of me that is not me. That’s ed. It has been crucial for me to separate myself from ed throughout this whole ordeal. Ed is very different from the real me. I personally really enjoy chocolate chip cookies. Ed doesn’t think I do though. In fact, he thinks that a granola bar sounds much better, and plus, he won’t make me feel guilty about eating a granola bar…it’s healthy. C’mon! Unfortunately, ed is lying. He also likes chocolate chip cookies, but they make him sick. Sick with guilt. And so do granola bars. If I chose a granola bar over a cookie, this is what it would play out like:
Ed: No cookie for you. Someone else will eat those. You have plenty of granola bars. You should have a granola bar.
Me: I should have a granola bar.
I eat the granola bar, feeling clean and special because I have resisted temptation. I am superwoman (not).
Then…when it comes time for dinner, ed raises his voice again.
Ed: No!! No you cannot have pizza. No. You will wait and have a sandwich. Or better yet, have half a sandwich. And no dessert for you, remember the granola bar you had earlier?
Me: Yeah, but I didn’t have the cookie, and you said that was being good. Why can’t I have pizza?
Ed: Hello! You know pizza scares you. It’s not really healthy for you anyway. A sandwich will be better and I’ll leave you alone for the night. Promise.
Me: But…I used to like pizza.
Ed: Yeah, well that was before. We don’t like pizza anymore.
I have the sandwich. And ed still pesters me all night and starts again in the morning. He also creeps into my dreams, with images and scenes of me screaming at my parents for what they are trying to force me to eat. Of me resisting food with my mouth clamped firmly shut. He makes me feel on edge and self conscious, wondering how I will navigate through meals without upsetting him.
And as if food isn’t enough, he starts to nag me about everything else too. He tells me I can’t have supper until I finish reading my book. I can’t have a snack before bed until I wash my face. My car wouldn’t start in the cold winter one year, so ed said I had to eat less for the rest of the day. He is so persuasive. Obviously he doesn’t make sense…none of his rules are logical, but I was under his fierce grip. I was helpless. He told me if I was good and if I let him control me, I would be a better person.
I hate ed. He was successful at ruining the majority of my life between the ages of 13 and 22. I guess it got easier as I went along. To listen to him, that is. Ed surely didn’t get quieter, in fact he seemed to get louder. Exercise was a big thing with ed. He told me I had to exercise once a day. Then it was twice a day for fifteen minutes. The more exercise the better. He even manipulated my doctor at the time, and told my doctor I would only eat if I could exercise. The doctor said it would be good for my brain. Everything in moderation, right? Yeah well ed knew that the slow walking the doctor allowed for ten minutes wasn’t enough. Nothing was ever enough for ed when it came to discipline and me. Now he had me running on my “walk”. He had me sneaking around behind my mom’s back and lying about exercise. I didn’t even like to exercise!! But ed said I did.
At one point, ed said I could eat pretty much whatever I wanted, as long as I only ate what my younger sister ate. This posed a few problems, one of them being I wasn’t always with my sister, so I couldn’t know what she was eating. Another was that ed realized I wasn’t as active as my sister, so he told me that was enough of that.
So, who is ed? He is a a nasty lying thing that talks to me way too much, though I am working on changing that. He twists people’s words to say exactly the opposite of what they mean. He tells me I am worthless and that I am no fun. He tells me I can only do this if I do that first. And that I can only eat that if I don’t eat this. For a long time he told me he wanted to kill me…now our positions are reversed, thankfully. He is depression and anxiety. He is horrible and slimy. He is not me. He is a monster. He is anorexia.