Due to my recent health issues, I’ve had to do a lot of talking about my diet. More specifically, I’ve been faceed with many decisions that need to be made. I’ll be perfectly honest, trying to balance my physical health with my mental health is not easy. If it were one or the other, I think the decisions would come much quicker and would be easier to make.
Unfortunately, though, this is not the case.
In short, I recently found out I have allergies/intolerances to certain food groups that are contributing to my health condition and are making me sicker. Now decisions need to be made: what do I cut out? How much do I cut out? How often? To what extent?
The purely “physical health” approach would dictate that I should cut out all of it, all the time, in order to get better. However, we are not merely physical beings, and so I need to consider my mental health as well.
As someone with a history of various eating disorders and disordered eating patterns, I cannot take any of these decisions lightly.
However, as a person with a severe swallowing condition linked to an auto-immune disease aggravated by allergens, decisions do need to be made.
In recent days I’ve discusd my options with a variety of people. I want to make sure whatever decision I make doesn’t compromise my physical health, but also (and most importantly) that it doesn’t compromise my mental health, either.
I think I know what my decision will be.
Today while discussing the situation with my therapist, she was doing her job and asking lots of questions. “Do you think this decision will lead you back to disordered eating behaviours?” “Do you think this could lead to further restrictive eating patterns?” “Do you feel you are at risk of going back to your eating disorder?”
All of these questions are valid, and they are the reason I brought up the situation with her; because I need to make sure I’m keeping myself in check.
My answer to all these questions is a firm no. At first I couldn’t even answer how I knew this so surely. I just knew.
As we discussed further and I connected with myself and tried to really feel where my head was at, that’s when it hit me:
I know this decision is not going to be a harm to myself because my intuition speaks louder than lies.
This wasn’t always the case.
I never believed my eating disorder was “me” or even that it was part of me. I always separated it from myself–my true self–seeing it as more of a third-party who had taken up residence in my head and manipulated me into believing its lies. It was never really me.
The more I believed the lies, the more manipulated I became, and the louder that voice got and the quieter my own inner voice became. My intuition, though still present, was completely drowned out.
This began to change in recovery.
In recovery I began questioning the lies; I began digging for deeper truths. I began reconnecting with myself and giving myself a voice again.
As my inner voice got stronger, the ED voice began to quiet down. Suddenly they were equal. This was the turning point.
Next I had to learn how to decipher between the lies (ED voice) and the truth (my intuition).
This was not easy, and it took some time and a whole lot of self-trust. And therapy. Lots of therapy. But over the years, that faint, inner voice, the one that had once guided me but was bullied into silence, began to speak loudly again. And as I began to identify it from the lies and trust it, it became louder, until one day it took over and the lies began to fade into an almost incoherent whisper.
This, I believe, is what recovery looks like.
I chose to listen to the lies, and then I chose to listen to the truth. I didn’t choose to have an eating disorder show up in my life; but I did choose how much of a voice I allowed it to have (for better or for worse).
Sometimes I still hear it, especially when I’ve lost connection with myself. I hear it mumbling in the background “You’re not good enough” “You will never be enough” “I know how to fix you…”
The message hasn’t changed, but my response has. Because now my Intuition screams back “NO.” and then it drowns out all the haze with truth.
And that is how I know I will make the right decision, not because the ED voice has magically disappeared, but because my intuition has regained control of my mind. I have regained control of my mind.
So no matter what it says, no matter the threats, insults, “ideas,” and lies, it may mutter in the background, I know I will not fall for it because I found my inner voice and that is the only thing I will be listening to.
“The truth shall set you free.”