Opening up to others about my eating disorder, unfortunately, means opening myself up to a lot of unsolicited advice. Some of the tips are triggering, and others downright dangerous. Some are bits and pieces of nutritional information that would be useful in other contexts, but seem completely frivolous when applied to disordered eating.
For those of you who have been open with others in your life, I commend you. It’s a difficult thing to do, but part of the healing process.
And for those of you haven’t been, I am in no way discouraging you from doing so. But brace yourself. And make sure you have an outlet to deal with the madness and stupidity it may entail.
(Your results may vary.)
I have been told by well-meaning individuals:
- Try just drinking water and “eating” only vitamins.
- Switch to wheat bread.
- Do yoga. (This is a more personal bias of mine. I know many people with eating disorders who benefit from yoga in recovery. But I’ve always found it triggering, as my mind tends to focus on the flaws and limitations of my body rather than its capabilities. I’ve done yoga in high school, middle school, and college class rooms, in the psychiatric hospital, bible camp, you name it…I’ve given it more than a fair shake.)
- To try not eating for a while, if you’re just going to keep throwing up.
- Eat one granola bar or piece of fruit, every three hours, but do not exceed 6 small “meals” a day.
- Spit out your food after you chew it, instead of purging.
- “Just eat.”
- “Just go on a diet.”
- “Go on a liquid diet.”
- “I’ll let you lose that less x pounds, but after that, you better not get any thinner.”
- “Never eat to the point of fullness.”
- “We need to get you a boyfriend, or a girlfriend, if you prefer.”
What useless advice have you been given regarding your eating disorder, or other mental illness?