I know a lot of patients (and professionals) who refer to their eating disorder as “Ed” (E.D.). I’ve always been a little wary of this… it feels weird to name a disorder that I’m struggling with. It makes me feel like I have schizophrenia or DID or something. However, in some ways it helps to thing of the eating disorder as a separate voice. It helps me to separate what I want from what the eating disorder wants.
My dietitian once told me “don’t bring Ed to dinner – leave him at home.” I have this vision of my sitting at a restaurant, with Ed at the end of the table with just a glass of water. Very silly, I know… but for some reason that helps me. Maybe it’s because I am separating the eating disorder from myself.
People with eating disorders are competitive — that’s (one) reason why you have to be careful who you put in groups together. I have some friends who I really like, but feel competitive with or triggered by. It’s easier for me to think of our two Ed’s fighting. We brought them along with us and now they are arguing.
Okay, now it sounds like I have an invisible friend… and usually I don’t think of the eating disorder as “Ed” — but there are certain situations where it’s helpful for me. But, my question is — what does your Ed look like? Do you have a mental image of it? I’m curious to hear how others envision it. I’ll draw mine and post it in the next entry…