Name: Erin G
Location: Minnesota, USA
About Erin G.:
In the first two years of embracing what *I* want my professional and personal life to be- which means all my income comes from working around beads and jewelry.
How has Beating Eating Disorders helped you?
It’s a constant stream of inspiration, thought-provoking questions, and ED truth bombs- it challenges the lies the ED still tries to tell me.
Where are you in your recovery journey?
I’m in active recovery- there are days where I need to focus more on self-care and process urges, and days that feel effortlessly symptom free.
What are your future recovery orientated goals?
I want to get my recovery to a place where I can handle high-stim environments or situations without the ED speaking up. Part of that is learning my own preferences, and part of that is exposing myself to those environments and practicing better strategies to cope. I want to be in a place where I feel like I can be fully present in the large gatherings or events I attend.
What is the most helpful thing someone has said to you? What has been the most harmful?
A close family member had cancer- my parents equated my need for treatment with his. Over and over and over, until it sunk in that the ED was something I could be honest about- because it was just an illness, not a character failing.
The most harmful probably came from various romantic partners who would learn about the ED and start some variation of “you’d look great if you changed your weight” or recommending excercise regimens, or going to extremes to be the ED police, because they saw it as a vanity/warped body image thing- when, for me, my weight and shape were a silent scream that I was not OK- I was using my body instead of words, and so them suggesting ways to be “healthy” felt invalidating. They were well intentioned, and also young , as was I, and didn’t understand that the ED was a complex, sticky web of contradictions.
Share some of your recovery insight.
I kept telling myself I could pick and choose- that I could settle at the agreed upon weight and just call it good. I had to recognize that the point at which I’m cognitively impaired comes at a different place on the scale than the standard measure. Knowing that there’s a pretty clear line where I stop driving and the ED has room to sneak in has helped me tremendously in establishing a higher quality of life.
Is there anything else you would like to add that you want people to know? Any advice to give to fellow sufferers?
Don’t be afraid of treatment because you think the eating disorders in other people will judge you- my universal experience is that we can see the value in everyone, regardless of shape, size, or symptom profile, far before we see our own. Your fellow clients are unlikely to be judging you- and very likely to be your loudest cheerleaders.