Disorders often start as a way of gaining control over our lives by controlling our lives in another way. With Eating Disorders we control our food, and the amount of exercise we do. Filling up our minds with thoughts of food, calories, macros, exercise.. and not allowing REAL life thoughts a chance to hurt us.
The same goes for disordered behaviours and addictions.
One thing I never told you was about the layers that I had built over my REAL life, those layers were so thick, even I forgot what lied underneath.
When not taught coping mechanisms we find our own, we think we’ve ‘got over’ something when sometimes, we put something in it’s place. I.e the Alcoholic who comes off Alcohol and Turns to Food addiction/Sex addiction/Drug addiction etc..
I addiction turns to another.
1 disorder turns to another
and I’ve had my fair share of ‘layers’.
It started one day when I was 14, stirring a pan of apple strudel with my Mum in the kitchen. I, almost like a déjà vu I felt like I wasn’t in the moment. I became out of reality, out of the room and could see my arm stirring this pan of strudel. I had no feelings about the food I was making, no listening to the conversation my Mum was having in my ear. I was no longer there and it scared me.
This was one of many ‘out of reality’ experiences which led to Panic Attacks, which led to Anxiety, which led to Depression.
I would Panic about normal conversations, normal social situations, things people take for granted, like leaving the house.
I would then get Anxious about having another panic attack, which often led to a panic, which then led to depression that i’d done it again and the cycle was unbreakable.
I was systematically unconsciously creating layers, protecting myself from the world with layers of disordered behaviour.
It was a long process but I got through this cycle, and then entered an abusive relationship. Again, I was seeking the drama, I was seeking a layer. I couldn’t control my life and I let another human being gain control over my life.
I later started dieting and controlling my food and body, which turned into an eating disorder and body dysmorphia (BDD).
After 20 years of suffering with disorders, it’s easy to see on text that these were just layers and coping mechanisms for life and a way of dealing with the real issue. The real issue, that lied under the deepest layer, which was there all along, hiding in GUILT, SHAME and self loathing…. that I was a survivor of sexual assault.
Why do I write this after all this time?
Because if there is another survivor out there still silent, feeling shame or guilt about speaking up, suffering by putting layers over what happened to them/you, then I want you to know that YOU don’t have to feel that way. YOU have a right to move on and live the rest of your damn life, disorder free, guilt free, shame free!!!
What’s hiding underneath your disorder?