I don’t know about you, but one of the main purposes for my eating disorder was that I was, essentially, trying to connect with others. It seems ironic, as my eating disorder became the great divider in any relationship I encountered.
On the one hand, I wanted to be by myself… please, everyone just leave me alone so I can self-destruct, please. However, one of the main catalysts for my behavior was my unquenchable thirst for a connection with others, with myself, hell, anyone, to fill the seemingly infinite emptiness (or loneliness) I felt.
In early recovery, I learned that the wounds from lost connections of family members, or others, could be healed, to some degree, by others. Not in a pathological, codependent way. Rather, a supportive way. In essence, I could create a new, almost like a surrogate, family that could help me get my lost childhood and stunted developmental needs met. I was told that creating this new family and leaning on others would help me learn to take care of my own needs. There’s really much more to this, but I’m sure you get the gist.
The people who told me all of this were so right. While I still have days when I feel emotionally dehydrated, I’m not the emotional sponge I once was. I don’t need people the way I once did, mainly, because the people in my life are constants. I don’t have to worry that they will abandon me if I don’t see them everyday. Not only do the people in my life fulfill a need in me, but, I fulfill a need in them… in a healthy way.