Wednesday, February 23, 2011
A reflection of change & loss and Eating Disorders
hello again: My friend and co-author of this blog recently experienced an unexpected and disturbing death. Although she was not close to this person, she experienced the loss and grieved over the end of a life. She expressed her grief to me by saying "It seems life just kept going on afterwards, as if nothing had changed." There was sadness in that statement. The end of something, or rather, someone, with few noticing. It does seem that way in life. That although it was then end of THAT particular life, that a LIFE continues on. As we discussed this revelation subsequent disappointment, I was reminded of how I used my Eating Disorder to help me cope with disappointment, confusion around the reality of loss. I resisted accepting loss. Anorexia allowed me to keep things (or myself, in particular) constant in the midst of the storm of change. Although now, upon reflection, I realize change occured anyway, it seemed to be happening all around me and I had no power or influence it to stop or even slow down. I desperately attempted to stop it from happening. I couldn't adapt to it, so my choice (or so I thought) was to prevent myself from changing and then everything around me might feel as if it wasn't changing either. It was a deception that almost killed me. All in an attempt to prevent or save myself from loss. I was willing to sacrifice my own loss in my attempt to prevent other losses. It was difficult for me to adjust, I didn't have the understanding or the ability to change as life changed, and I felt unable to cope with disappointment, especially my own. I felt I had never been taught these skills. But, again, in hindsight, I merely resisted it all, I never really controlled any of it. My mode of operation was resistance not accomodate. As Dr. Phil is so notoriously known for saying..."how is that working for you?" Obviously, it didn't work for long. I didn't really stop any pain associated with change, I merely transferred it. If I could have just asked, knew of someone I could ask, to help me cope. But noone I knew seemed able to cope with change well either. They all appeared to resist it in their own ways too, depression, anger, isolation, blame, avoidance, drugs, alcohol, the ever present diagnosis of "business". But noone seemed to understand it or able to accept it. I struggled with this for a long time. Punishing myself, my body, both from a position of resistance and out of desperation to survive it. The storm of change and loss. I have now learned that change is not ALL bad that it can be good too. It is not something to fear, with it's inevitability comes a sense of healing and peace and submission. New opportunities for self and life understanding. THAT life, that my friend experienced, represents something so much bigger than himself, through that tragedy and through his life (in essense), my friend changes, I am changed, and our relationship with each other changed. Would we prefer it to be different, YES! Can we MAKE it so, NO. The choice that we do have is to honor his life, and the change his life, his tragedy has on us. I honor what my Eating Disorder has change in me. Thank you change.