Things We Want You to Know

Things I want other people to know about eating disorders…

  • Eating disorders are not a choice… we did not choose this life/trial
  • Eating disorders serve a function that used to protect us from something hard
    • Metaphor: You’re swimming in a river and the rapids start to get intense. You grab a log to hold on to. It supports you and gives you comfort. Then the rapids calm down. But you can’t let go of the log. It keeps you from getting back to shore. Eating disorders function as a coping mechanism but they then become dysfunctional and keep you from living your life.
  • Eating disorders give control when the whole world around us seems to be caving in
  • EDs are a loud voice in our heads. The voice is constantly yelling at us.
  • Nothing we do is ever enough for our EDs
  • We want more than anything to be “normal”
  • EDs are so much more than the food… something deep down is triggering the disorder
  • Little comments about body sizes, food judgements, etc are hard to hear and cope with
  • EDs cause us to isolate and not be able to be present/connect with others… we feel very lonely
  • EDs can affect anyone with any body size at any age
  • EDs can cause us to see our bodies through a totally different lens… we do not see our body the way others do
  • Recovery is not linear… we will have good days and bad days
  • Navigating a society that is so deep in diet culture feels nearly impossible

Things I want other people to know about Depression…

  • We can’t just snap out of it
  • It can make us feel lonely even when surrounded by loved ones
  • Depression can make you feel drained but also restless (when paired with anxiety)
  • Depression causes you to feel unable to get through the present moment and also worry about the future (when paired with anxiety)
  • Depression can look like a busy lifestyle… it can be easier to hide behind a smile and act like everything is alright
  • Being depressed doesn’t always have a reason
  • Depression causes us to feel like a burden to other people
  • Little things, such as brushing your teeth, can feel unmanageable
  • Depression is exhausting
  • Having someone check in can mean the world but we may also just tel you, “I’m fine”
  • Just because we laugh doesn’t mean we are not in pain
  • We are not weak for being depressed… it is not a choice
  • We can be high functioning and still struggle with Depression

Things I want other people to know about Anxiety…

  • Anxiety comes out in different ways
  • We can be constantly on edge
  • We don’t want to hear “Stop worrying”
  • Small or normal things can make us feel uneasy
  • We don’t always know why we’re anxious
  • We can’t just turn our brains off
  • Social anxiety IS a thing… it’s not you, we tend to overthink situations
  • Making decisions is hard
  • Sometimes anxiety is just physical
  • We get anxious about being anxious
  • We can be high functioning and still struggle with anxiety
  • We just want you to be there, not to fix us
  • We can get overstimulated in busy environments
  • It’s hard to not feel in control of our surroundings

These are just a few of the many things about some mental health struggles that are good to know if you are trying to support a friend, peer, family member, etc. Not all of these things are true for all people. Everyone who struggles has a different story. We just want to be loved and supported!! If you are reading this to try and gain some insight to help others, we want to thank you for putting in the effort. This is hard!! You’re taking the right next steps to support your peeps.

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