Imagine a world without rules…
- Where a road sign said ‘Stop’ but you ignored because you couldn’t be bothered with the wait and, well, there was no rule to tell you this was incorrect
- Where mass murderers could roam free because, well, there were no rules to say murdering was wrong
- Where you were able to park ANYWHERE (although, to be honest, people seem to do that anyway)
- Where money had no actual value because, well, there was no rules to say you were right or wrong
- Where it is was no longer illegal to handle a salmon in suspicious circumstances (yes, that is still a law in the UK)… anyway, you get my gist.
A world without these rules would be so so crazy and completely chaotic, totally unfathomable and genuinely inhabitable (especially the salmon rule, goodness gracious!!), however some rules were made ‘to be broken’ (as the saying goes)…
For someone suffering with an eating disorder, the illness thrives off rules. The illness adores setting rules, and restrictions, and limits. The voice of the eating disorder is loudest and most strong when it is setting these boundaries…
- You are not allowed to enjoy food
- You do not deserve food
- You must do X, Y, Z, A, B and C before you are ALLOWED food
- You must only eat ‘healthy’ food
- Food containing fat is ‘bad’
- Food containing sugar is ‘bad’ too
- Food containing carbohydrate is ‘bad’
- Basically, food with any taste is ‘bad’
- You must exercise before and after eating any food (fuck that, exercise whilst eating too)
- You cannot eat food purely for your own sake, your food choices MUST be validated
- You are not allowed to relax, you do not deserve to relax
- You can’t laugh
- You cannot smile
- You can’t engage in normal conversation
- You cannot think of anything but food, how to skip food, how to reduce your food, how to reduce yourself… actually, don’t think of anything but me (your eating disorder)
- You can’t have friends
- Actually, you are allowed one friend (ME, anorexia)
- You must reduce yourself
- You must take up as little space as possible
- You are not allowed to live life
- …. the list goes on (and, quite frankly, is endless)
For anyone suffering with an eating disorder, the key is to BREAK these rules.
Your eating disorder may try and convince you that a life without these rules will be crazy and chaotic, totally unfathomable and completely out of control (which can be terrifying !!) but your eating disorder is wrong.
You need to break completely free from the cage that the eating disorder has WRONGLY crammed you in because, without these rules and restrictions, you are able to live life. To live a life free from the restrictions placed on you by the eating disorder.
A life dictated by the rules of your eating disorder is not a life, it is a mere ghost of existence. With these rules, you are forced to become a shell of your former self. Yes, a world (not restricted by these ED rules) may seem scary and surreal, but it is not crazy, it is not abysmal… in fact, it is actually quite exciting. A life beyond the eating disorder is possible and breaking the rules it places in front of you is more than possible. Not only that but, it is allowed.
It is okay.
It is WORTH IT.
So, maybe, in some cases rules are necessary. But where your eating disorder is concerned, rules have to be broken. Rules are restrictions and these restrictions are shackles keeping you chained to something that wants to destroy you. These rules condemn you to slavery and sadness. So, hey eating disorder, your rules are shit.