Have you ever unloaded your thoughts onto someone who just can’t comprehend them?
It’s so hard for people who have never experienced any kind of mental disorder or illness to understand the way your mind works, or why you think the things you think.
There are certain people in my life who just don’t get it and, while that’s not their fault, it makes for a lot of frustration. When I say to them “I just can’t stop eating junk” and they say “you just need to try harder” or “just stop buying it”, I cry. That blatant (most times unintentional) ignorance drives me to tears. If it were that easy, I wouldn’t have Binge Eating Disorder.
Some people are lucky. Some people have never experienced addiction. I envy those people. Being addicted to something forces you into a life of dependency and weakness, and the worst part is knowing you have a problem, but not being able to change. You’re powerless – knowing what the right thing is to do, but never doing it because you lack the motivation ordered minds often take for granted.
Addiction is a vicious cycle to try to break out of. The cycle destroys you, but it’s all you know so you stay in it, despite how desperately you want out. Some people will never experience that. You can’t talk to those people. You can’t talk to the people who tell you to “just stop doing it” – the people who wouldn’t last a day in your mind.
It’s important to talk to people who understand what you’re going through. People with eating disorders, depression, anxiety and other mental disorders will understand. They know the mind plays tricks. Even gamblers, alcoholics or smokers because they’ve experienced that loss of control.
You need to take a risk and open up to people. It’s possible they won’t understand, or they’ll criticize or belittle you. It’s guaranteed that will make you feel worse, but you just might come across someone feeling exactly the way you do. I opened up to my cousin and it turned out she had an eating disorder too, as does a close friend of mine. If you can’t find a single person to turn to, talk to someone who has studied the mind enough to know that what you’re feeling is perfectly normal and explainable; someone who not only makes sense of your mind, but moulds it into something else entirely to set you on the path of recovery. A professional, a doctor, a help line.
My cousin became obsessed with weight loss. She was addicted to reducing the number on the scales. She said when she ate food she could physically feel herself gaining weight. That wasn’t the case, of course. That was a classic example of a mind playing tricks. She was referred to a psychiatrist after a few months and almost immediately began recovery. She told me seeing the psychiatrist was the best decision she’d made because there’s no way she could’ve done it alone.
The simple decision to unload onto the right person helped her gain strength, confidence and determination because she was speaking to someone who saw sense in her thoughts.
Talking to people who understand is not only liberating, but one of the best ways to relieve your stress. And, if you’re like me, getting rid of stress means getting rid of a huge trigger. So make sure you’re talking to the right people.