What purpose does anorexia serve?

The eating disorder for me meets the need of control; if I can stay in control of my food intake then I can stay in control of my life.  Restriction is an addiction, it gives me a sense of extreme pride and power.  There is just something about making it through hour after hour without any nourishment that kept me coming back to the deadly cycle of starvation.

Through my eating disorder, I can ask for help without actually having to say anything at all.  My appearance does all the talking: she is sick, she isn’t okay, she needs someone.  Without anorexia, how will I ask for help?  How will people know I am struggling?  Anorexia is my voice when I can’t speak up for myself.  It says all the things I am too afraid to say.

What will I do when I no longer look frail and weak?  How will I still manage to have my needs met once I am weight restored?  All my life I have struggled with intense anxiety and my suffering went without notice until anorexia gave that pain a voice.

In order for recovery to be possible I need to find my own voice, one that is not tied to ED and not contingent on restriction.  I need to realize that I deserve to be heard; that my obstacles are valid.  I don’t need to be dying to ask for help.

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