National Donut Day (GET HELP) isn’t very exciting for those with eating disorders…

Story by Meaghan:

I want to tell you about this guy that  I met. I’m not going to use any names because I feel it could really ruin someones reputation. Him and I met about ten years ago. You could say that our relationship has been pretty serious, always ups and downs but when push comes to shove he really has always been there for me. I was a freshman when we met, he has taught me so much about life, love and happiness. He taught me about strength and persistence. He taught me how to love myself, even when I wasn’t very lovable. He taught me self-care, taking time for myself. Throughout high school we had lunch together almost every single day. Once we went to college, things got kind of complicated you could say. I wanted to be alone and figure myself out, and he wanted to support me. I’d push him away and then call him back whenever I needed him. He comforted me when I was scared. He guided me when I felt I couldn’t make decisions and always gave me the greatest advice. He’d constantly show me who my real friends are and push away every negative person that got in my way.

    He’s great, he’d go shopping with me, out to eat, parties and even take me on little vacations. He’s perfect right? The only thing is he insisted that we kept our relationship top secret. However I was treated like a princess, so it was worth it. Wouldn’t you kill for a relationship like that? Having a man that stands by your side for ten years even if it’s just in the role of a friend. Someone who is honest, who fights for you, who is patient and waits for you to discover yourself? Someone who is willing to wait for you and as soon as you are ready, he’s back, like nothing ever changed.

    How lucky am I? I’d say very. I found my Prince Charming at such a young age and the best part is I knew he’d never, ever leave me. No matter how poorly I treated him. No matter how stubborn I was. No matter how many other relationships I got into, I always knew he’d be there. He would never let me be lonely. It’s a dream come true.

   There’s a flip side though. This guy, as much of a dream that he is also did some pretty terrible stuff to me. Do I keep him or do I let him go? That’s where I need your help.

   When I say he taught me how to love myself, I mean- he told me what I needed to do to be beautiful. Make-up, hair-dye, tanning, gym memberships, and the latest ‘diet’ trends. When I was scared he’d teach me control, like “If you ever want to get anywhere in you life you have to learn to punish yourself when you do wrong.” When I was getting dressed he’d tell me I’m ugly, and that clothes will never ever fit me. If I had a friend or a significant other he’d find ways to push them away because the only love I needed was his. He’d help my avoid awkward social gatherings and fight with my loved ones so I could ensure keeping him around. He HATED seeing me in dresses, it just wasn’t a pretty site. He’d comment on how my calves were too big and my thighs shouldn’t touch. He’d convince me that no one loved me, no one cared. Whenever I was alone he’d keep me company. Whenever I was with people he would always be right.there.

       He made me sick. I never wanted to leave my house, I couldn’t work, I couldn’t sleep. I was scared and nervous, I couldn’t make a move without him noticing. I wasn’t allowed to cry, or be angry, or be anything but “happy.” If I felt anything else, he’d become enraged, he wouldn’t leave me alone. he convinced me that I’m not worthy. I was fat. I was ugly and he always had to be number one in my life. He gave me what I wanted, attention. He was manipulative, he made me cling to love. He was intimidating, constantly reminding me that I had to earn the body image I longed for. He was always there for me, he loved me despite my longing to be beautiful, despite always failing him.

     Does this still sound like a fairytale? Is love like that worth it? If love means something different to everyone shouldn’t I accept this man? I should love him back. Here’s the scary thing though, I don’t. I’d be lying to you if I told you I even wanted him around. Honestly I want him to leave forever.

   Don’t you want to help me get away from this man? Once we break up would you want to watch chick flicks and eat ice cream out of the carton with me? Why could I so easily tell a friend to get away from a relationship like that but I’m stuck? Can people really convince you of all that? How many second chances do I have to give someone?

   Now, what if I told you this man doesn’t really exist. What if I told you I completely made him up? Would you get me a one way ticket for the crazy train? Here’s the thing. He does actually exist. His name is Ed. He lives in my brain and everything I just told you is very true. When I told you we met for lunch every day, I meant in the bathroom. Ed is an eating disorder. It’s a mental illness. My body isn’t perfect, and  I rarely go to the gym. But if I was dealing with a break up and you showed up with ice cream, I’d have to refuse because it’s just not worth the extra calories. It’s always there. I’ve been fighting this for months, you could even say years.

   Eating disorders are the cancer of the mental health world. The only difference is there isn’t a chemo or radiation. It’s just as deadly. For an eating disorder I am the chemo, the radiation, the strength and the cancer. It effects your muscles, slows your heart rate down, reduces your bone density and can even cause heart disease. Anorexia nervosa has the highest fatality rate of any mental illness. Eating disorders are a daily struggle for ten million females and one million males in the United States.

   You see, I’m far from alone. This IS serious. Anyone can struggle. This “relationship” I’m in is just as serious as an abusive relationship, it’s similar to having an addiction to heroin. Except I’m addicted to the feeling of having an empty stomach. I physically can’t JUST have one more bite. I can’t just STOP my desire to be a size 0.

    I can’t just call the police and say I’m in danger. I have to become smarter than my own mind. I have to face challenges every day because I can’t just run away from food. You can’t escape your own mind, or your heart.

    I’m okay and I’m surviving. Every day brings new struggles and new accomplishments.It’s not easy- but the moment you realize that recovery is worth it everything changes. The fight becomes worth it, the exhaustion becomes worth it. And in the end, you gave up a relationship and you may feel lonely. What you gain is irreplaceable though.

   You gain a clear mind, an adventurous spirit. You gain love- maybe not from others but for yourself, and the others will follow suit. Loving yourself means happiness, confidence, strength, courage and compassion. You gain pride, you gain insight, you learn how to actually fight.

   This doesn’t mean Ed won’t call, or text, or show up in a commercial, or even knock on your door he may even barge in. However he will find someone happy to be eating ice cream out of a carton because they can finally enjoy good company. Because that’s my decision and getting rid of him, gives me back control of my life and after all isn’t that what I wanted from the beginning?

   Be brave, take chances. Talk about your struggles with loved ones. Seek help, because being able to think and make decisions for yourself is worth far more than fearing life. I’m 24 years old, I’m no longer claiming to “have” an eating disorder, because I am far too busy recovering from one.

Anyone who's familiar with the therapy world will tell you that the key to successful treatment (well, one of them) is finding the right professional to work with. I can't say I know who the right therapist is for anyone other than me but I can tell you that you've found a really, really good one. I've seen dozens of therapists over the years but Amanda was the first I actually saw results with. She believed in me when (it felt like) no one else did and especially when I didn't believe in myself. She helped me improve the toxic, destructive relationship I had with myself (I was suffering from a basically non-existent sense of self-worth and a dangerous eating disorder) and the relationships I have with other people. She had the skills, experience, and heart to help me maneuver the complicated web of poly (and other alternative lifestyle) relationships. Also, since it's pride month when I'm posting this, I'd just like to add for anyone who may identify as LGBTQIA+, that I have always felt respected and safe to be 111% myself here. :) I literally cannot say enough wonderful things about Amanda and her team. You should definitely call them.
Nathaniel Black
Nathaniel Black
I've been seeing Amanda for about 4(?) years for anger issues as well as other things, and I feel like I have progressed so much more as a person thanks to Amanda's guidance. I feel very comfortable talking about everything and anything with her. She is definitely the therapist I'm going to stick with for a long time.
Bree TV
Bree TV
After an upsetting breakup back in 2015 (with a person I had been reluctant to date to start with!) I was having a lot of emotions and decided I needed to talk to someone who wasn’t my family or close friend. At the time, I found Amanda on a website with a list of local therapists. It took one visit for me to realize that Amanda was a godsend. It was a turning point in my life. Over the next few years, I experienced a lot of “aha” moments and Amanda guided me through them all. I’ve gained so many valuable lessons on: self-esteem, the the ability to receive, confidence, letting emotions out, intimacy, communication, languages of love, knowing your value and much more. My relationship with myself, my family, and romantic partners have all benefited. These lessons don’t come naturally in everyone’s life and there is no shame in seeking out assistance. Amanda’s technique was exactly what I needed. She is compassionate and helps you explore your situation and feelings, but she will be honest with you and challenge you in ways that will help you grow if you are open to it. Currently in a healthy relationship, I am practicing everything I’ve learned but I still like to check in with Amanda periodically because life likes to keep you on your toes and you never stop growing!P.S. I love supporting a strong, female entrepreneur like Amanda. I’m always impressed with the ways she and her team continue to innovate on ways they can reach and help others.
Al Leigh
Al Leigh
If you are just starting out in a relationship and want to build a solid foundation of love or you want to rekindle the flames of love that seem to be smoldering. Then you need Amanda Pasciucco. Amanda has all the skill knowledge and more than that a passion for her work. She can bring you to high level of communication through gazing exercises. You’ll get a feeling of what it’s like to look into your lovers heart and soul.Through breathing exercises Amanda can teach how you can accomplish the feeling of oneness in your relationship.If you’re struggling with communication or problems with intimacy what ever it is their is no one better or as skilled as Amanda.A few sessions with Amanda and you will feel blessed for the opportunity to work with her.If your looking for love in the dating sites without a doubt she can help.She helped me find the love of my life who I now call my wife.If you want the best call Amanda Pasciucco! The Sex Healer
Gary Biske
Gary Biske
I've been in therapy for years, but it wasn't until I started seeing Amanda that I was finally able to address the basic issues that were causing larger, more complicated issues. I've never felt more comfortable with a therapist, and she genuinely cares about her clients. 10 out of 10 would recommend
Olivia Pace
Olivia Pace
phong shin
phong shin
Amanda is nothing more than miraculous. She embraces love and life. She changed my life and can change yours too.What she did in months other therapist could not do in years.If you want to change and need help Amanda’s the best.Highly recommend!!
Hands down Amanda is an amazing therapist! She has helped me through some of the most difficult situations in life. She is very down to earth. She engages in conversations versus making her clients feel like clients. With Amanda she makes you feel welcomed and cared for. Amanda has literally enhanced my life overall and has taught me some of the most valuable coping techniques one could ask for. I have and do highly recommend her!
michelle caballero
michelle caballero
I am so grateful to have found Amanda! She truly stands out among therapists and will do everything in her power to help her clients. She uses a very realistic approach which I have found immensely helpful, and I cannot recommend her enough!
Sarah F
Sarah F
Amanda has literally saved my marriage. Before Amanda, I was scared our relationship was going to fail. I now KNOW that we not only are going to make it through but also ENJOY our relationship. I don't even want to think about where my husband and I would be without her. #besttherapistever
Brittany M
Brittany M
Amanda is an extremely generous person that I am very thankful for. I have seen her for counseling for an Eating Disorder for a couple years. She has taught me different coping methods and options to overeating. She is not only caring, but such a compassionate, empathetic therapist. I always know that she’s rooting for me and just a phone call away. We have worked on many issues over the years and I’ve really gained a lot of knowledge from Amanda. I highly recommend you reach out to her.
Kristin Jay
Kristin Jay

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