You know the saying "this is the first day of the rest of your life"? Well, September 3, 2015 was that day for me. By the time this post is published, I would have already begun the daunting task of walking away from a very abusive relationship. If you know me well enough, you know what I'm talking about. And if you have ever gone through one or are in one now, my heart hurts for you. The relationship I'm talking about is not one with a man, though some may call it Ed. The relationship I'm talking about is with my eating disorder.
Yikes! I said it. I just made it public on the inter webs that I struggle with an eating disorder. I'll give you a moment to roll around in your minds how vain and immature I must be. How conceited and shallow I am. Done? Okay, great! Saying I have an eating disorder is not a vie for attention. In fact, I never say it out loud. Saying those words makes me feel like I'm ripping a very sticky piece of duct tape off of my arm. It hurts. And truthfully, it's embarrassing. If you have one or had one, you know what saying goodbye means. And if you know someone who has or had one-- which you may and not even realize it-- you may not fully understand what goodbye really means.
It doesn't just mean restoring or gaining weight or eating "normally". After all, it is not solely about the food or weight/size. Saying goodbye to an eating disorder means saying goodbye to what may have been the only coping skill in your life and finding a new one. It means giving up a very huge control that you have over your life. It means admitting that you really do have a problem and need some help despite your efforts at being "perfect" and put together. Well, that's what it means for me anyway. Everyone has their own reasons for why saying goodbye is hard. And to those who love and care about us, it can be so frustrating and seem ridiculous and confusing as to why we don't run at the opportunity to leave this abuser. If you have this perspective, I understand where you're coming from, I really do.
Imagine for a moment that you are a drifter in the ocean and you can't swim. You've been trying so hard to stay afloat but are making little progress. Suddenly, you notice a plank floating by and you grab it without thinking twice. The waves are all around you and water is going in your face and mouth, so at first you don't notice the pain. But as you cling a bit longer, tighter, you start to feel it. The splinters that you didn't even see at first are digging into your skin and scraping at your hands and fingers. The rough parts are rubbing your skin raw and causing you to bleed. Now that you have this realization, do you think you would be so wiling and ready to let go of this thing which is, at the moment, keeping you from drowning? Would you be so eager to abandon it and go back into the treacherous waters in search of something else? Don't be so quick in saying yes and don't be so quick to judge. Because that's what saying goodbye means. (For me anyway)