Thursday, September 2, 2010

A dose of independence

I used to be terribly independent but that has changed a lot over the last few years. I like to blame it on my eating disorder, but I know it's because of my boyfriend. Don't get me wrong, he's wonderful. He has been so helpful in my recovery. He was the first person to understand and the first person to encourage me to make peace with food. I know that he supports me no matter what. We've been together for three and a half years now. I'm terrified to realize I've blended into him. By the same token, he has blended into me. I can't make a decision without first running it by him. This isn't something he requires of me. I don't know why I feel the need have his approval on every single thing. He urges me to be more independent and I want to be. I can be in this relationship with him and still be myself. That's something I'm really trying to work on lately.

He will be spending some time in Boston due to work. Actually, he will be there for ten weeks. Ten! And I will be here. We will talk on the phone daily. We will fly back and forth to see each other when we can. But, for the most part, I will be here. Alone.

Am I strong enough to make the right decisions while he's gone?

He is the one who gives me a reason to eat everyday. Whenever I'm left to my own devices, my eating disorder tends to overwhelm me. I know that I am strong. I know that I have it in me. But it's going to be so hard without him here. It's more than missing him. It's a 10 week Jessica vs. The Eating Disorder boxing match extravaganza.

Part of me knows that being alone will be good for me in some ways. It will give me a chance to find myself again. It will give me a chance to take a much needed dose of independence. I will miss him like crazy, but maybe this time apart can strengthen our relationship. Since we've lived together for almost three years, a little space might remind us what it was we loved about each other in the first place.

He is a good influence and a healthy, stable voice of reason in my life. But an eating disorder is a very personal experience. As much as I value his love and appreciation, ultimately, he can't fight this thing for me. No one can. Support and encouragement are crucial, but it's terribly personal. I'm the one who lives with this thing. And I will be the one to put an end to it.


  1. You need to become more independent of him. You need to discover you can take care of yourself and get better for yourself. I am now learning that since my husband left me. And although there is a very strong hope of reconciling — he wants me better and he says he still loves me and hopes we will get back together — I realized I placed way too much burden on him regarding my anorexia, and he finally got burned out and needed a break. Your boyfriend can't save you, just as my husband can't save me. We can only save ourselves.

    It can become too much for them. Please realize that before it is too late. I wish I had seen the signs that it was becoming too much for my husband. Again, I have hope my marriage will be saved. But things will be very different after what I have learned just in the past few days.