You are gathered with a group of your friends having a great time. In the mix of people is a person you are hoping will turn into more than a friend. The conversations are great and there is a lot of laughter. The energy is positive and uplifting.
The door bell rings. Someone yells, “Pizza’s here!”
Everyone: Yeah! Except you: Groan.
Enter stage left: a sweaty meat head looking sports coach complete with whistle makes a bee line for you. Immediately, he barks orders to you. He stands, hands on hips, inches from your face and yells, “You are such a good for nothing! You will not eat any of this pizza! Eating this pizza will make you more of the trash you already are! It will make the person over there despise you!” You wipe the coach’s spit off your brow.
No one else acknowledges the coach. No one else seems to have one either. Everyone else is continuing the relaxed chatter and laughter while enjoying the pizza. You take a deep breath in. You slowly let it out. Do you choose nourishment? Clearly, your stomach is requesting the food. Or, do you listen to your personal food coach? His name is Ed.
Who hired him anyway?
Ed is the eating disorder. Ed is the love/hate relationship with food control. He promises strength and security with following his demands. Yet, it also seems like you can never do enough to please him.
Most people I know with an eating disorder would pay millions to fire Ed. They would do anything to quiet their mind and enjoy food again.
In my work with clients with Ed in their life, many speak of a few moments a day when he appears to be absent or at least a little late. This peaceful time is often with the first meal of the day. I believe Ed is NOT a morning person. I suppose he spends so much energy torturing people throughout the evening and even in dreams that he cannot wake up on time.
My clients and I often plan for this tardiness. We plan enjoyable balanced breakfasts that will help fuel their brain to argue against Ed the rest of the day. If it wasn’t for the sustainable meal, many would not get enough energy to pump their heart each day. I am so thankful for the many Eds that sleep in each day. This respite seems to allow many of my clients the time needed to gather all their strength and ammo to fight back.
Last night I went to see the Avett Brothers in Raleigh, a cool punk blue grass band of brothers. Wow, the energy felt from the stage! Prior to playing the song, Go to Sleep, one of the brothers discussed the song as letting go of a harmful part of you that you do not like anymore. Once I heard the explained lyrics combined with the energy, I thought of those affected by Ed. Here’s part of the lyrics:
Lay back, lay back, go to sleep my man
Wipe the blood from you face and your hands
Forgive yourself if you think that you can
Go to sleep, go to sleep my man
I encourage those of you with Ed yelling in your face yell back: Go to sleep, go to sleep, go to sleep! Maybe drop him a sedative or two. Go back to bed, Ed. You are not welcome here anymore.
Thank you Avett Brothers for the inspiration. Here’s a clip of them singing this song back in May. Enjoy!