Monday, May 9, 2011

Sick Enough

I often feel like I'm not sick enough; like things have gotten all blown out of proportion and my disordered relationship with food isn't all that bad. And if it's not that bad then I don't need to recover because there is nothing to recover from.

I was slow to seek help because I never felt like I had a real problem; at my worst I felt like I was failing at having an eating disorder.  I still feel this way:

I am failing at having an eating disorder.  

When I told this to my doctor she actually laughed out loud. Not in a rude way but in a
that-comment-caught-me-off-guard-because-you-can-not-fail-at-having-an-eating-disorder,-the-very-idea-of-that-is-crazy type of way.

I am not anorexic and I do not meet the criteria to be classified as bulimic. I am a prime example of someone with EDNOS (Eating Disorder not Otherwise Specified). A 'catch all' phrase often used to classify those of us who aren't sick enough yet to have a label all our own. I've seen it described as the term for someone who, if left untreated, will most likely develop a more serious eating disorder with a "proper label" but I feel like this label (EDNOS) is true to the wide assortment of symptoms that people can display. It represents the wide spectrum of what disordered eating can be.

Moreover, it allows me to cling to my belief that I'm not that sick, that things have somehow just been blown out of proportion and I'm not really THAT GIRL.

This belief was broken down a little bit when I read on the F.E.A.S.T. website that
  EDNOS symptoms can be more lethal than those associated with 
anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa. 

Wow! What a wake up call. This is real. I am lucky that my body has been able to handle the abuse I've handed it. I am lucky that I found help when I did.

I am officially done arguing with myself about whether or not I have a problem. I am officially done feeling like an outsider from the ED world. I do belong in such groups. My opinions on eating disorders matter. I am sick enough.

Please don't misunderstand this post. It's not about comparing and a twisted game of "You're sicker than me". It's about me trying to convince myself that I do have a problem and the voice in my head that's telling me to just stop treatment and return to 'normal' life is wrong.

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