Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Dating and eating disorders-Jezebel

In case you missed it (came out yesterday), Anna North of Jezebel recently wrote an article on the delicate balance of dating and mental illness which included the wonderful Carrie and me. I think the article was well done, and by the number of views and comments, there were many people who could relate.

Dating while with an eating disorder or recovering from one is tough. The ED is so isolating that you kind of forget about other people all together. The ED is more your companion than anything. To add someone else in the mix, stirs up a variety of issues that may or may not have been present.

There is a constant myriad of messages to overcome, including the most powerful one--yours (or ED if you believe it is more of a separate voice). All the ingrained thoughts of feeling unlovable, damaged/flawed, broken, unworthy, not good enough, and more are difficult to overcome. Dating won't necessarily solve them, but it might help lessen the harshness, offering a glimmer of hope.

Here's what I have to say about dating while in recovery:

"I'd tell someone that you have to put yourself out there, even when your mind is telling you otherwise--that you are not lovable, not attractive, all those negative thoughts that cab harbors the ED. If you never do or are too fearful, you will never know what is out there.

I'd also say that to try to find a balance between feeling comfortable but also challenging yourself too. Dating is certainly not easy, but it can be fun. It's especially easier when you are not physically starved and can think more clearly. Then, you can truly reap the experience and feel the 'emotions' of it all."

Just like your ED, dating takes time. It likely won't happen overnight, but I do think it can happen for many of us, even to those who feel they may never find anyone. Keep trying. (I've definitely had to tell this to myself several times) Like denim jeans, sometimes, we have to try many before finding the right fit.


I Hate to Weight said...

i find dating very difficult. eating on dates has ALWAYS been difficult, no matter where i am with ED. i want to seem normal, but i have no idea how a normal woman eats. so, i'll eat too much or order something i don't really love or drink too much wine, because i'm so confused about the food.

then, i go home thinking i've eaten too much or had too much to drink or wasted calories on something i didn't like.

i guess this is all smoke and mirrors for my insecurities deep inside.


C J Good, Author said...

This is a powerful topic that really resonates with many people. I was certainly touched. Thanks so much for posting. I look forward to learning more.

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