I often receive the question whether it is a sign of weakness if we admit that we cannot fight against this disease alone.
I couldn’t disagree with that notion more. I am of the opinion that reaching out and saying that you cannot fight on your own, takes a lot of guts.
I know we live in a society where you have to be able to do everything all by yourself. Everybody has to be perfect (and we eating disorder sufferers are notorious for striving for perfectionism). The more you can achieve, the more respected you are. But, oh my, admit that you are a woman who cannot change a tire or a guy who just cannot cook, you have the label of weakness on your forehead.
Why is that? I mean, quite honestly, is there a single person in the world who does it all? No, I dare to suggest that there is not.
So, why do we think that we have to walk the way towards recovery on our own. Why can’t we use the wonderful resources that are out there? Why can’t we ask a counselor or doctor for help? Those are trained professionals who can prove as enormously helpful on our way towards health.
I speak from experience. For more than 13 years, I thought that I could make it on my own. I believed that I did not need the help of a therapist. “This is for other people” was my answer to everyone who suggested I see a psychiatrist. I honestly thought I knew myself best.
Boy, was I wrong. I lied to myself all the time, so why did I think I knew myself AT ALL? It was only with the help of therapists that I was able to start being honest with myself. Yes, I did the lion’s share of the work to get to where I am today, BUT I would not have come this far without counseling.
I have to admit that admitting myself to a treatment facility crushed my spirits for a few days. Was I really this sick? Was it the right decision? Should I not rather do it the harder way? What will everybody think when they hear about it? But something deep inside me knew that this was what I needed. And that feeling proved me right. Letting go and knowing that others are here to help me made a huge difference in those difficult months. Having the support of a team gave me the crutch that I needed at the beginning. Whether they were able to comfort me when I was devastated, whether they helped me eat that one potato more or whether they were able to get me out of a bad time when I felt so depressed I thought I couldn’t go on, they helped me get back on track every single time.
And if the prospect of counseling is still too scary for you, then confide in a friend, someone who is close to you, someone you trust. They will be glad to help you and hold your hand. Just don’t isolate yourself.
Asking for help is a sign that you are taking serious steps towards a new, healthy life. Asking for help shows that you are willing to re-evaluate everything you believe about yourself. It means that you are ready to attack that misleading thought of being your eating disorder. It signifies that you mean business.
So, go, ask for help! Do it now! It will be one of the most rewarding things you will do in your life. I promise.
About Anne-Sophie Reinhardt
Anne-Sophie Reinhardt is a blogger, podcaster and digital entrepreneur. After struggling from Anorexia Nervosa for 14 years, she recovered and is now helping others who are trying to do the same. If you would like to engage with Anne-Sophie beyond her blog, she offers 1:1 consulting! Just send her an email.