Do you feel alone in your eating disorder? Are you too embarrassed or ashamed to tell anyone about your food-related behaviors? Do you see needing help as a weakness? Are you afraid of getting help for your eating disorder?
As you are undoubtedly aware, eating disorders are complicated. Even while we’re in the thick of an eating disorder, it may be hard to understand why we do some of the things we do. It takes time to uncover the connections between past hurts, various emotions or the desire for control and food-related behaviors. No one should be expected to do all of this alone.
While we’re caught in the grips of an eating disorder, we aren’t objective about what we’re doing to our bodies. We’re, instead, subservient to the negative, lying and even nasty voice of the eating disorder. How can we dig our way out without some type of help or support?
Here are some common reasons people are hesitant to reach out for help. Perhaps you can relate to some of them. But please don’t allow any of these things to prevent you from getting help and embarking on your own personal journey to freedom.
1. You may feel that getting help means that you are a weak person; you should be able to fight this by yourself. Asking for help doesn’t mean that you’re weak – it means that you are human. God didn’t make us to handle tough issues like this alone. He made us to give and to receive; to help and to be helped; to offer encouragement and to receive edification. It’s okay to be on the receiving end. When you’re healthy, then you can focus more on giving to others. For now, concentrate on getting the help and support you need for yourself.
2. Perhaps you feel you don’t deserve getting help for your eating disorder. That’s actually all the more reason to seek help. There’s no reason you shouldn’t have the aid you need to become a healthy person inside and out.
3. Maybe you’re afraid that others will find out about your secret. An eating disorder is a very personal matter, and it isn’t something you need to tell everyone. However, there may be some key people in your life who would be more than willing to encourage and support you through this very challenging time.
If you think getting help isn’t necessary, I encourage you to honestly answer the following questions:
1. Is what I’m doing helping me to stop engaging in food-related behaviors?
2. Is what I’m doing helping me to become a healthier person on the inside?
3. Am I at peace with the way my life is?
4. Do I want to continue to live like this well into the future?
5. Do I believe there is hope that God has a better life in mind for me?
Did you answer “no” to any of these questions? If so, please give yourself the gift of help and support for your eating disorder. Remember that eating disorders can lead to a large variety of health problems. Some of the consequences can become severe. Eating disorders can even be fatal. Please focus on getting help. Your life may depend on it.
If you’re still hesitant about getting help for your eating disorder, please ask yourself these questions next:
1. Do I want to overcome the underlying issues that feed the eating disorder?
2. Do I want to be free of the control of the eating disorder?
3. Do I want to be able to enjoy social events without having to worry about food?
4. Do I want to have time and energy to spend on things other than obsessing about things like food and weight?
5. Do I want to be at peace with myself and at peace with God about how I’m treating my body?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, know that with appropriate help and support the things you want can become a reality. You can be at peace with God and yourself as well as enjoy your life in a whole new way. Why deprive yourself of that?
It’s time to do some research, pray, pick up the phone, open up to a professional or a love one. It’s time to begin getting help for your eating disorder and embarking on your personal journey to freedom from your eating disorder. It’s time to step closer to a new life where you can be healthier than ever before.
By Laurie Glass