Chapter 20: Dear Dictator…

Dear Dictator,

The bulimic stops a habitual purge.
The anorexic eats at every meal.
The orthorexic has a treat.

There is a common misconception that once an individual with an eating disorder is finally eating regularly, their battle is over. In fact, recovery is a ongoing process of rebuilding relationships within ones self, a daily effort sometimes struggle, to stifle a dysfunctional way of thinking that has become deeply engrained within you as an unnatural instinct.

I am a recovering bulimic with two “beliefs” about food that are in constant battle. One, a belief that food as an element of survival, it is a source nourishment for my soul, an entity that gives me energy to adventure. And two, a “belief” that was not willfully engrained but consciously held on to, that food is an enemy, something to restrict and to control, something that makes me feel sick and fat.

Prior to seeking support for my eating disorder, my relationship with food was very clear cut. My input had to be less than my output, my food choices were extreme, treats were cheats. Food was the catalyst for weight gain not for every day survival. Food was the dictator of many: my social life, my decision making, the very person I saw in the mirror.

I have worked hard to silence the voice of the dictator, to become aware of it and recognize the lies it tells me. There are still moments I crave an empty stomach, consciously have to give myself permission to treat, and convince myself to eat. Although the voice of my dictator may be dampened amidst the cheering of self love, it still exists.

The voice of the dictator weakens as the voice of self love grows stronger. 

Although I recognize that I am human and that learning is a non linear process, it is behind a veil of guilt and shame that I admit I have had recent trials and tribulations with my dictator. The battle is over, the dictator has triumphed.

Recovering from these moments are extremely painful; emotionally, mentally, and physically. I have given in to the dysfunctional habit and now am having to pull myself from the trenches where the voice of the dictator saturates my surroundings.  Physically, I feel myself being pulled down into the darkness as I work to see an honest reflection of myself in the puddles of tears that lay in front. My body shutters with weakness fighting the grip of my dysfunction as it attempts to drag me into isolation. It is a mental and emotional battle working to differentiate between the voice of the addictive dictator and the truth. With every fibre of my soul I have to work to find my balance again. Its exhausting. I’m exhausted.

Please do not pity or lose hope. For in these moments, where I feel myself slipping, the hands of friends interlace with mine reminding me of the strength and self love I have within, and that if only I embraced and allowed it to be unleashed without restraint, may my dictator be silenced.

Dear dictator, I now walk beyond the trenches. Your rein of power is now over.

About sedalzell

Educator & Explorer
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