There comes a point when you have to make a determination as to what is healthy in your life and what is not. When I am speaking in these terms I’m talking about people and situations. We have to be able to know what we need as people, and then do what is right.
Deciding what is healthy in your life can come in all shapes and sizes. You have to be able to say, “when I’m done with this, am I a better person?” or “when I’m with this person, does he/she help me try to be something better?” The easy thing would be to say, “see what’s not healthy and cut it out,” but that is not reality. If that were reality, many of us wouldn’t be where we are today. If that were reality, we wouldn’t be dealing with the things we deal with, and we would all be in somewhat of a happy place.
When it comes to eating disorders, there are many people or situations that can be healthy and unhealthy. It’s hard to determine what we can be around and what we should not be around. It’s easy to say we shouldn’t be with certain eaters, or with certain people who trigger us, or go to places that may trigger us. But, what happens when those unhealthy situations or people are the ones we are close with?
There are times when we have to make determinations in our life to pull away from those who aren’t healthy to us. Whether it’s an eating disorder or not, there are people who are just toxic. They can be in the form of always complaining or they always have something negative to say, or they might just simply criticize you and make you feel as though you’re not good enough. If It’s in the form of an eating disorder, they may be talking about triggering things, or always pulling you down or away from recovery. If you are recovery focused, they should be too. These people might not even know they are doing it, and they may not mean harm by it, but if you allow your voice to be quiet, it will continue to harm you. One of the first, and sometimes hardest, steps in self-care is using your voice. There comes a point in recovery, or in life, when you need to be able to say, “This doesn’t feel good. I don’t have to feel like this.” You can take control over what is happening to you and you can allow yourself to be happy.
The greatest thing would be to say, “tell them and make the change,” but we all know that isn’t possible. Many of us are people pleasers and we are afraid of hurting others and we don’t want to displease others. But, the first step we can all take is thinking about the cost that we pay when we stick around some of these people. Is our happiness worth being with them? Are they happier when we are around? It doesn’t matter if the answer is yes or no, the important answer is to the question, is it worth it that we are miserable? If we can answer no to that, we can simply find ways to pull away from those people, or to create more positive interactions.
I’m finding that I have to clean up my contacts. I have to take a look at things that I’m reading and people whom I’ve talked to and determine if it’s a healthy connection. I have come to realize that the one important thing that matters right now is beating this eating disorder, and to do that, I can’t be around the negativity. I also can’t read the triggering remarks of others as well ( by triggering remarks I mean others IN the eating disorder not wanting recovery, or just remarks by those with eating disorder about specific weight loss for what seems like competition through numbers). We have the choice to feed the disorder, or feed the fight. When I allow myself to sit silently, I allow the disorder to be fed (pun intended). I no longer choose that, and you don’t have to either. If we’ve changed this much, we can change that too. It can simply start with a statement of, “I’m really looking to stay positive about things so I want to see it this way.”
Written down, this sounds so easy- in practice, it’s quite tough because sometimes I think I’m drawn to the triggering remarks to feed the eating disorder. I think I allow myself to read and hear those things to keep it going. I know I don’t want the eating disorder and I know I need what is better and more positive. So, from this point forward I’m going to take a look at what is positive and push out the negative.