Monday, February 7, 2011

you don't know how lucky you are.

 i was talking in therapy today (isn't it just darn comical when people start their sentences [or blog posts] like that?) about how i am always jealous of girls who are sicker than I am, or was.
I've always kind of been curious about this phenomenon, as it, being related to eating disorders, has always kind of seemed different, or somehow more complex than just your standard, run-of-the-mill jealousy.
i'm pretty sure this is a  common theme in eating disorders...jealousy/competitiveness/whatever you want to call it. It's kind f the source of a lot of tension the "ED world", so to speak, because most people with an ed do not think they are "sick enough" or as "sick" as the next girl (in the waiting room, the dietitians office, the doctors office, on the street, etc). 
(Source: Samantha Conlon)

some quotations...

18036) My best friend is my trigger.

18126) I secretly wish that all the ED girls who I follow will have a bad day, so that I can feel even better about my good day.

(from Confessions about Eating Disorders (i'm only posting the link b/c i have to for copyright reasons--but don't visit this site if you're easily triggered, please.)
so...what the hell is up with us? 
What's with all the competition and jealousy? 
Anyway, so i was talking in therapist about how
yes, i, too, still get really upset/jealous/whatever when I see girls who are visibly very sick, or when girls who I know relapse. I was talking about how I hate that they get more attention than I do.
D (my therapist) asked how I know they get more attention. I said, in my experience, they just do. 
And i, being bulimic, i have always felt that I do not warrant the same kind of attention as a super-underweight anorexic. (see this post for more on that)
(Source: 1000 nightmares)
I was saying how I "hated" the girls who came into treatment, kicking and screaming and ridiculously underweight, usually between the ages of 14-18, forced by their parents or doctor. I said I hated them because they didn't know how lucky they were. how lucky they were to have people who noticed early. How lucky they were not to have to take responsibility for choosing treatment. How lucky they were to be in the position of stubborn, sick, anorexic girl who needs lots of care, attention and coaxing and support. 
How lucky they were to still be stuck in the oblivion of their eating disorder, making the rest of us miserable with their stupid comments about how "this place just wants to make me fat", and not having to worry or  think about recovery because, in fact, they didn't care.
I talked about how I'd always wanted to get out of my chair or off my couch in the group room and scream at them, lungs full and face red you don't know how lucky you are, you skinny fucking bitch!
But then D said something really smart. (lol, look at that, Rose-a therapist said something insightful!) She reminded me of something I had totally forgotten. she said, I think you want to tell them how lucky they are in general, but you're just minimizing it down to food and body-weight and ed-stuff.
true, true or true?
I pick all three. 
I forgot about this.
I forgot about how eating disorders do this.
How we feel something very strongly but then we make it all about food and weight and ed-related stuff. 
just cause we're programmed like that. or cause it's easier. I don't know.
but when I thought about it, and I mean really thought about it, I realized D was right.
What I really wanted (and want to) say to all those girls (and not only the very sick ones, but also my friends from school and many people in my life) is you don't know how lucky you are. 
Because, at times,  I feel unlucky.
Whether that is depression, anxiety, teenagerness, ed-ness, or circumstance, I don't know. But I assume I'm not alone in this. I think we all envy others when we are feeling down ( I know i have days where i'd rather be the homeless man on Fifth Avenue than be myself), and I think those of us with eating disorders just attribute it to weight/degree of sickness or acuteness/ ed-related attention, etc and so forth. 

I'm not really sure what the remedy for this is. I think for those of us with eating disorders, it can simply be remind ourselves that it's about more than what that girl weighs, or what you weigh. 

(Source: Tumblr Photography)
And it's about more than how she is still "allowed" to starve herself, etc, etc. And for all of us, I think it's about being grateful for what we have. Even if it feels like not a lot sometimes. I know my ability to be thankful for the things in my life changes from moment to moment, but i think no matter what, i can always find something, even if it's just a blanket or a cup of tea, to be happy about. 
What are you grateful for today?
And can you relate to any part of my crazy-jealousy?
 Let me know in the comments :)


  1. As someone who has struggled with bulimia (daily) for the past 8yrs, I still don't believe I am as sick as an emaciated anorexic. As I write this I realize how ridiculous it sounds--
    Since I am an average sized bulimic, no one really believes my problem is "so severe"- however if I was severely underweight, then I think people would see me as a more 'legitimately' sick person.
    Ah my words seem jumbled, but what I do what you to know is- you are worth fighting for!!
    sending support xx

  2. JessiclaytonmatthewsFebruary 7, 2011 at 8:21 PM

    Thank you so much for this post, Rose!
    I too have struggled with crazy-jealousy often in the form of "you don't know how lucky you are" directed towards people who I presume to be sicker than me, but you make such a good point that when we do this, it is often taking a deeper thought/issue and minimizing it to food/body stuff. I never thought of my jealousy in this way before, but it makes so much sense. It's crazy how much eating disorders can twist things around!!! You are right that there is always something to be grateful for- I have been thinking "Why me?" a lot lately, and this post has inspired me to take a more positive outlook. I am grateful for my supportive family.
    Beautiful post as always, Rose! I hope your week is off to a good start! <3

  3. yes yes yes. I definitely identify with the whole 'jealousy' aspect of having an eating disorder, comparing yourself to others etc.
    I think it's very common for those with eating disorders to feel like other people are 'sicker' than them. and to be honest, it really doesn't help when professionals just reinforce this idea.

    This was a really insightful post, so thankyou.

    I hope you're doing well <3

    love always, genevieve

  4. Yes, I definitely know where you are coming from. I still struggle with it a lot. I sometimes feel the same way about others being lucky for having people notice their problem early on. I suffered alone for four years, while my family never gave my extreme weight loss a second thought.

    I've come to realize that I have A LOT to be thankful for. It's hard to see sometimes, but there is some good in everything. We are surrounded by beautiful things. Life itself is a beautiful chance.

    Thanks for a very thought-provoking post. =)

  5. Im grateful for being in a college i love, and for being strong today and challenging myself to start a-fresh and eat my lunch. Im grateful for my doggy who just got her haircut and now looks like a brand-new shiny puppy! Im grateful for the city i live in (i really like it today for some reason). Gahh im feeling tres grateful today, thankyou for drawing my attention to this! :) x

  6. Wow -- this post moved me so much. Seriously, so much. When I was sick, I compared myself all the fucking time. I was never sick enough. Everyone was always thinner than me. They were always so fucking lucky for it, too. Now, I realize, I'm lucky to be well. I'm lucky to be safe and secure and smart and happy. Everything is so much better now. Thank you for this reminder Rose. Thank you.

  7. I know exactly what you mean about being jealous of those of us with ED that are still REALLY suffering. It's twisted. Why would I want to be as sickly thin as her? And why would I want everyone to be all over me telling me that I need to eat?
    Something in our brain is just messed up in that way, I guess. ha

    Anyway, I am grateful for the ED blog community. It's helped me vent and recover so much. Also I'm grateful for my boyfriend who supports me no matter what. And finally I'm grateful that I am still able to do what I love (run) without ED getting in the way.
    Great post! Keep writing. I love reading :)
    <3 Haley

  8. What am I grateful for? The fact that I can escape into blogland when things seem to much, because everyone seems to understand me here.
    I know I feel incredibly jealous when girls eat less than me... like they are somehow 'getting away' with misbehaving or something ridiculous like that. It's almost worse when the person doesn't have an ED, because I feel like they are so ignorant to the fact that I have such difficulty with something they take for granted, like eating a stupid salad. I hate that girls can be skinny and not mentally sick like I am. And yes, I know how weird and abstract that way of thinking is.

    I haven't really thought about this stuff in awhile, and considering I am surrounded by small girls who eat normally I probably should be. Thanks for writing Rose :)

  9. i love the way you write. You pen down emotions so well in words and it makes me feel it so well it makes me relate to it so well. HAVE TO FOLLOW YOU!

  10. I'm a bit late on this - internet and blog problems galore - but I know what you mean. I know exactly what you mean in this post! Sometimes people don't really understand how annoying "but you are so lucky in other ways..." can be.

    I am so grateful that I had a job interview yesterday that went well. I also didn't yell at Maya. That was a major accomplishment.

    Great post my friend. As always.

  11. Also thank you for this post, it's very insightful and also truthful for us suffering with eating disorders. In treatment I was always questioning did I deserve to be here; when others looked or seemed sicker or smaller then me. I felt like a fake and also I had to seek treatment, it was my choice, due to my parents having never been very involved in my life. But I wanted to have someone seek help for me, and in my mind that would make me feel as if I deserved treatment.

  12. Ah! This post is really good. I am alwaysss jealous of people with they struggle. But the ironic thing is, mine is opposite from you. I struggle with anorexia and I always get so pissed that people with bulimia don't always get caught, or they can eat what they want and not gain weight. I know that is such a sick way of thinking and please do not get mad at me for saying that, but it just goes to show how screwed up ED is, in all situations. I think we (or ED) always wants more. Something more. And so nothing is ever good enough for us. We need to change that first!

  13. "I forgot about how eating disorders do this.
    How we feel something very strongly but then we make it all about food and weight and ed-related stuff. "

    I completely agree with you on this whole post. Like you, bulimia was/is my main ed-though it started of as anorexia, so I guess I can understand both. But especially for bulimics, because the ed is not physically displayed, I always felt a little jealous and definitely undeserving of any help because I didn't look sick or wasn't sick enough.

    I love your positive ending. And today I am grateful for my friends, especially my best guy friend who's like a brother to me, hugs, blue skies, cold mornings, lara bars and a weekend. <3

  14. i know exactly what you mean.
    hang in there.

  15. i think we all struggle witht that jealousy. its just nice to get a break from it sometimes and realize that it can just be our eating disorders being b****es ya know ? ;) hope you're okay, Jess!

  16. it DEFINITELY doesn't help when professionals reinforce this idea.
    its not acceptable.
    i think ED 101 should be : do not compare your patients. inwardly OR outwardly. period. end of story.
    glad you liked the post. love to you too, genevieve.

  17. yes. i'm so sorry you're family never noticed early on. that can be so heart wrenching.
    hope you are well and thanks for the lovely comment!

  18. i love it when my pup gets a cut! its like hes a whole new doggy! :) so glad you liked the post

  19. thank YOU alexandra. your comment means a lot. i'm so glad i could give some helpful reminder-ness :)

  20. thank you Haley! xo

  21. totally understand.
    thanks for reading!

  22. that's so interesting!
    i've never thought of it in that way before but that makes so much sense (in an ed way, ya know)
    thanks for commenting!

  23. thanks andrea.
    i'm grateful for the weekend too. and lara bars, and cold mornings (like this one) come to think of it!

  24. I'm thankful for you just showing me that I'm not the only one who feels jealous. Ever since I started recovery, I felt so bad about actually being jealous of the "sick and skinny anorexics".

  25. fuck i feel horrible to say this but its nice to know that there are others who feel the exact same dark envy towards "those girls" and stuff related to that topic. its been driving me so crazy..thats most probably how i've ended up on this blog thing typing this right now. but your a fabulous writer. this drew me in, definately keep writing guurl, your intriguing.