Another place, another year – another year without ED, for the most part. Lauren moves to a foreign country to work at an elementary school. The food is completely different, as is the culture. She is excited about her new venture and the opportunities it affords to grow both personally and professionally. She has her flights, has said her “goodbyes,” and suddenly, she is gone for a year. The house feels strangely empty, and we miss her. But isn’t this what we wanted for her - to be strong and healthy enough to follow her dreams?
She is excited to meet her roommate, only to discover she struggles with ED. At first, I felt upset and frustrated, as if I’d been betrayed. Then I realized this was a gift. Another test and a reminder of what went before. Did this pose problems? At times, yes. We are supposed to enjoy food with human company, and this couldn’t happen. Eating alone on the couch, or in her room, was definitely not ideal. It was sometimes triggering when the roommate said she wasn’t hungry for dinner - again. The solution was to do the opposite action. If ED says, “you shouldn’t eat either,” you go directly to the kitchen and cook up something yummy. Food remains the best medicine, and every challenge overcome makes her stronger.
Do body image issues remain? Yes, of course, because this is the last symptom that typically lingers. How many women have body image issues in our culture? The reality is that it may never disappear. But it is possible, just like getting better is possible, just like full recovery is possible. And that’s a fact; so don’t let anyone ever tell you otherwise. Winning the battles with ED day-by-day opens the door to hope and infinite possibilities.