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Wednesday, May 30, 2018

emotional anorexia

Last weekend I watched "To the Bone" on Netflix with my older girls. It is about a girl with anorexia who is struggling to want to recover. As someone who has struggled on and off with my own eating disorder, it was deeply touching to watch her struggle with herself and food.

One line, in particular, has stuck with me. The main character is talking to her friend, who is trying to encourage her to start eating again, and she says basically "but aren't you afraid that once you start eating you won't be able to stop?"

I have been turning that phrase around in my mind all week. I can totally relate to that - on a food level because sometimes it feels like it is easier to starve myself than to make healthy food choices. But I noticed this week that sometimes I do this with my emotions too.

I think of myself as a pretty emotional person - I have big emotions that I find hard to express and I am very empathetic. But I noticed that sometimes I have the tendency to starve my emotions, especially how I feel about other people - like an emotional or relational anorexia. I have this fear that once I start showing my emotions I won't be able to keep them in control and I'm afraid that if I start to get close to people I won't be able to maintain my boundaries.

But this is just the story I am telling myself, a lie that I speak to myself, that if I stay open to friendships I'm going to be disappointed and hurt, or I'll become codependent, blurring all of my boundaries. The reality is that I have had and I currently have some really really great friendships. Like all friendships, they have their ups and downs, times when we are close and times when it feels like we lose touch for awhile. But they love me and I love them. This is the truth.

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