Ed Introduces Fred

Tonight I attended a professional organization’s monthly meeting. I have not been since last year as I was dealing and coping with some personal issues. The reason I decided to return tonight is one of my friends was the guest speaker.

I was hesitant at first but I really wanted to support him. I am glad I went–the look on his face when he saw me there was priceless. That feeling is worth everything. And he did an amazing job! The evening was fun.

Per my usual manner, I did not partake in the dinner. Hey, I fight Ed’s Voice in so many locales and situations–I am just picking my battles.

Now since I have not been since last year, it has been several months since some people have seen me.

And this was the icing on the cake for the good evening:
One lady there told me I was looking really good. She kept wanting to point out how I had lost weight and a lot of it. She asked me and I responded–60lbs. She was blown away. It felt sooo good to hear that; to see that on her face. Yes, Ed, stroke your ego. Enjoy this moment.

Turns out she approached my mom that evening, too, because she was taken aback at how much I’ve lost weight. She wanted to know if it was Weight Watchers or whatever my secret was.

Shocking point–my mom said I had been working hard at it.

To me it is funny. My mom knows I am anorexic. I have been in treatment for almost a year now. Only in the past 2 months has she actually acknowledged that I might have an eating disorder and serious problems–mainly when the previous med I was on caused hypomania and insomnia. But she has never said to me, “Cassie, I know you suffer from anorexia and what you are going through must be difficult.”

Then again, she never admitted I had a problem when I came home at 18, amenorrheic, skin and bones. She said for all these years I made it up for attention.

So it hit me. I wonder if she has a voice, too. Hers might be related to Ed, but nothing like Ed.

What went through her mind as she told this lady that I have been working hard to lose weight? Does she believe it? Is it easier to say than, “my daughter is anorexic” or “Cassie has an eating disorder”? And does she also have a voice saying things to her, quietly, that what I am saying is true while another voice is louder telling her there is nothing wrong with me.

A voice that says it is not her fault. That it is all in my mind and I am making it up. That excuses everything so she does not have to face her personal fears and demons regarding her feelings on this topic; whatever it might be? Usually parents think they are at fault–so is she coping with that by allowing this voice to continually persuade her to look past my suffering? To dismiss my issues?

Huh. Maybe Ed’s Voice is not the only problem. Maybe Ed’s Voice has a cousin and that voice infects all the loved ones of eating disorder sufferers. I shall call this voice “Fred” for it is the voice of friends and family of eating disorders. Yup. I think I just hit a mental nugget. Trademark copyright!!’

I suffer from Ed’s Voice trying to kill me. My loved ones and supporters suffer from Fred’s Voice telling them that the awful Ed cannot be real and to deny it; that Ed’s Voice is not killing me.

Who would have thought that Ed’s Voice has a relative and that those who hear Ed’s Voice were not the only ones who suffer from hearing voices.

Hello, Fred. It is nice to finally meet you.

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