Tuesday, February 2, 2010


I can remember being told many times throughout the years of being ill with anorexia that I was "just being selfish". Whew! Didn't I care about my family, my children, etc.? Talk about shame and guilt!!
I KNEW I was not a selfish person, in fact, looking back, I sacrificed myself in many ways in an attempt to please others or meet their expectations, however convoluted it may have appeared. To those on the outside looking in on a person who is suffering with an eating disorder, I can see how it can appear to be a very 'selfish' condition.
YES, an eating disorder does in fact develop into a very 'self-focused' way of existence. But that's different from BEING selfish. I think it's important for any of us who have been told this, to realize the deeper meaning, and to not allow this to be another factor that decreases the worth we see in ourselves. During recovery, I think many steps along the way are devoted to switching that focus from ourselves, in terms of the obsessive rituals and rules that have kept us sick, to focusing on how to truly CARE for ourselves. Even this focus is NOT selfish, but an important factor that will truly increase our belief in ourselves and the strength we have to embrace others into our lives.
Some things that may be helpful include: daily gratitudes (which may translate to prayer, meditation, yoga, etc.), relaxation techniques, daily emotional check-ins with those close to you who understand, journaling, SUPPORT GROUPS, or any other methods that help you to change your mindset from your external identity, to who you are internally, heart and soul. How can you change YOUR self-focus to a more recovery type of focus?


  1. Read your blog for the first time today. My young daughter is being treated for anorexia at a remarkable treatment center. Your posts touch my heart and one hundred percent validate my family's ongoing experience with my daughter's recovery. Your insights are very instructive. Please accept my thanks for the work you put into your recovery and for the work you put into your blog. What a compassionate gift!

  2. Thank you. I am thankful for all of you that your daughter is getting the help she needs to recover and move on with her life! I am touched that you found inspiration through my words and sharing of my own experiences. That is my true purpose. Please know I am happy to talk or communicate 1:1 if you ever desire. My email is janurse427@yahoo.com, and my cell is 419-206-1306. Please take care of ALL of you!! Jan

  3. I am new to this blog but so much I read sounds like me. I was diagnosed with EDNOS four years ago but it has haunted me since childhood (I am 62). The part about selfish rings a bell. I have heard it all my life. Even though there has been a diagnosis and continuing treatment I am in a constant state of denial that I even have an eating disorder. I am trying desperately to hear other people's stories at least for validation.

  4. Mara...please keep searching for answers!! You CAN be free from this, despite the long time that you have suffered. Feel free to contact me at any time if you so wish. See my reply above for my contact info...take care..Jan