Being married is hard work, I think anyone who is married knows that. Marriage is many things, but ultimately it is a relationship.
Anorexia and marriage don’t share very many similarities. I am very grateful for that. But I have come to find that they do share a few.
Healing from an eating disorder is hard work. It is a day by day, minute by minute choice that must be made. I’ve found that letting one thing go, say a snack or an unhealthy thought, can lead to detrimental scenarios. I could be fine one minute, and the next I could be struggling to drown out my “Ed” thoughts.
And that isn’t even the half of it. But I’m not writing this to throw a pity party, so I’ll leave you with that example. Being in an active eating disorder is hard work too. I don’t want to dwell on this aspect, because it’s dark and ugly, but it’s the truth.
When I began down this road, which I hope will ultimately end in recovery, I was essentially in a relationship with Ed. I followed him wherever he chose to go. I worshiped his opinion. I was willing to go to the ends of the earth for Ed.
Do you see a connection here? Just a little?
I wanted to write a little bit about marriage, and my husband, because they have both played roles in my recovery process. Then I realized the connections and how in some ways, I am giving up Ed for my marriage.
I thought marriage would fix me. I really did, even though I acted like I knew it wouldn’t.
And for a while I stayed at a stable weight, but I was still really uncomfortable around food. I thought maybe a new environment would help, and it did a little bit. But I knew I couldn’t keep it up forever.
I blamed marriage for making me feel unsafe. I blamed the house. The weather. My husband.
I didn’t blame Ed though.
Guess what happened when I finally got Ed behind bars for once…
I began to feel a little safer. I started reaching out to Dan, instead of the eating disorder.
Ed always knew what would make me feel better. He always knew just what I needed, without me even having to tell him. We were strong together.
Dan is a gentle human. Whereas Ed doesn’t mind seeing suffering, my husband hates it. Of course he wouldn’t intrude on my relationship with Ed, because he knew how much it would hurt me.
It took a long time for me to listen to Dan instead of Ed. In fact, I still struggle with it. I know my husbands love runs so much deeper than Ed’s. I know Ed only loves me for what I give to him.
Ed’s whispers of a cure to all of my pain are malicious, yet addictive. He knows how difficult it is for me to feel it all. He knows that without fuel, I shut down and only talk to him.
Being married to Dan has given me so much more than Ed ever could. In fact, in many ways I believe marriage saved me. Marriage, and the relationship it holds. The love that isn’t in the terms and conditions. The support and care.
Ed never cared about what happened to me. I’ve found someone who does, and even on my not so good days, that is enough.