Sometimes, it just feels like you’re always being chased. You’ve been running so long and have been fighting, incessantly, for years, and yet, you are still running from something. Some dark part of you that refuses to go away; a demon that was bred in your head and born from your own anger. Your entire recovery process was dedicated to fighting this demon and the others like it. You have wiped out so many of these demons, but there is still one that persists on coming after you. It’s the remnants of the damage that has already been done; it’s the memories of what happened before. It’s the last shreds of the anger and sadness that permeated throughout your body as you slowly crumbled away inside. It is a reminder that you used to be something that you hated.
A lot of eating disorders are built on a foundation of self-hatred and loathing. It is born from your own anger towards who you are and it breeds that desire to damage yourself in order to be “better”. Unfortunately, that anger and hatred is a powerful beast that can still exist beyond recovery. While recovery has allowed you to overcome the bad habits and damaging behaviors you once had, there is still a mental issue that continues on past it: body dysmorphia.
Living with Body Dysmorphic Disorder
Body dysmorphic disorder is defined as a mental disorder that causes you to not be able to stop thinking about perceived flaws or defects in your appearance. For those who suffer from this disorder, they are constantly viewing their bodies as flawed in egregious ways. It doesn’t matter what their friends or family say, or the numbers on their scale, they constantly view themselves as wrong in some way. They can put in the work to be more fit, eat healthier, pick up better habits and behaviors, and yet they can’t be content with how they look. It’s all in their heads. Those around them see what the take issue with as minimal, or even non-existent. Some people who struggle with body dysmorphia may have a completely false or imagined issue. It is entirely possible for it to not be real. Either way, living with body dysmorphic disorder is incredibly difficult and harrowing for a person.
It is a continually defeating idea; you can’t please yourself, no matter what you do. It doesn’t care about the amount of time you put in the gym or the effort you give it, it just wants you to feel low. You lose your sense of value as a person and few things can be as damaging as feeling worthless. We know, and we know that there isn’t an easy fix to it. We can’t tell you of a secret method that will wipe out all negative thoughts about your body or give you the body you dream of having. But we can tell you that there are small moments of reprieve and acceptance that you can find. There are moments where you may find yourself appealing, even if it was just for a split second. You may catch yourself in the mirror and not be upset with what you see. Those moments will come and you should hold on to them. Feel the pride in those minutes, feel the acceptance of how you look. Even if that feeling doesn’t last much longer beyond then, that is progress and that is a victory. That’s what important: your ability to keep finding those moments of victory and not let yourself slip into a complete void of depression and self-anger. It’s not ideal or easy to live with body dysmorphia but you have overcome a lot before, and you can continue to do so.
Life isn’t going to be about how many times you can overcome your problems, and body dysmorphia is certainly a problem that will persist in your life. But you have to be able to keep moving. You are strong enough to keep moving despite what your brain is telling you. You are strong enough to live a happy life. Body dysmorphia is going to try to knock you down over and over again, but you can get back up and keep going. You deserve that. We know that you may not be able to truly believe what we say, but we promise you that you are beautiful. You are worthy of feeling beautiful and worthy of accepting your body. It’s hard to overcome the mental roadblocks that your eating disorder has built in your mind, but you can do it. We can’t promise that you will be able to tear those roadblocks down for good, but you can find a way to climb over them and keep on your way. You have the skills and the support system for it. Don’t let your problems control your life. They’re nothing compared to you.
If you, or anyone you know, is struggling with anxiety or mental illness, do not hesitate to contact the team here at True Recovery. Our program, founded in 2014, is built around finding what’s best for you to overcome your addiction. Our facility is located in Newport Beach, California, with our supportive housing located close to our campus in Costa Mesa. Take advantage of the local beaches, nature preserves, and Orange County community while we fight for you. Contact us at (866) 399-6528 and [email protected]