Eating Disorders

Loneliness and Eating Disorder Recovery

Loneliness and Eating Disorder Recovery (1)
You never know who is going to understand; you never know who is going to change your life.

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I’ve been there. I’ve felt those feelings of loneliness. Those feelings that I am the only one, that nobody understands me, that nobody understands my eating disorder. I know what it’s like.

But I am here to tell you that you are not alone.

See the thing about “ED” is that he wants us to feel like we are alone; that is why he feeds us all of these lies. That is why he fills us with feelings of shame and guilt and ideas that nobody understands, or cares, or wants to listen.

They are all lies.

I remember thinking that because I didn’t fall in to any specific “category” or diagnosis (I bounced between anorexia, anorexia athletica, disordered eating, bulimia, binge eating…you get the picture) that even others who struggled with some form of eating disorder would not understand my ‘unique case’.

I also felt like I couldn’t talk about it with anyone such as my friends or family or whoever I was dating at the time because they wouldn’t understand me, they wouldn’t understand my eating disorder. This was true to a point; they probably wouldn’t ever FULLY understand what I was going through, but that doesn’t mean they didn’t care. That doesn’t mean they wouldn’t be willing to listen.

Sometimes having someone listen to us is all that we need.

One thing I have learnt through the process of recovery is that although not everyone struggles with an eating disorder or disordered eating, that doesn’t mean they cannot relate to struggles or addictions. Everyone has something, everybody out there has pain, has weakness, has temptation, and even if it is not regarding body image or food, they can still relate to the inner battles that come along with our brokenness.

They can still relate to that inner voice that we hear telling us we aren’t good enough, telling us we can’t stop, making us believe that we don’t want to stop, making us feel unbeautiful.

We are all broken in some way. We can all relate.

This is why we are not alone.

Now, maybe you have friends that you have been able to talk to about your eating disorder and who can relate on this level of brokenness that I am talking about, but for some reason you still feel like you are not understood because they cannot fully grasp the concept of ED. They can’t understand what makes a person want to deny themselves food, or eat an entire box of cereal in one sitting, or force themselves to vomit however little or much they have consumed.

Maybe your feelings of loneliness aren’t about being alone in the literal sense; maybe they’re about feeling alone in your eating disorder because it feels like nobody understands.

Maybe your family tells you “Just eat!” or your friends respond simply by saying, “But you’re not fat…” They don’t get it, I understand that.

But let me tell you that there are people who do. There are people who understand that it’s about so much more than simply eating and that it isn’t always about the weight.

There are people who get that. I am here right now telling you that I get it.

So this is what I need you to understand, you are not alone in this. You are not alone in this battle with your eating disorder – no matter how badly “ED” wants you to believe and to feel that you are; just know you are not alone.

But let’s get practical for a minute.

We all know that generally things don’t simply fall into our laps – we have to put ourselves out there. So instead of basking in your loneliness and thinking that your friends or your family don’t understand, TRY. Talk to them. See if they understand; give them a chance! Try to find a level to which they can relate. If that doesn’t work try someone else – try a youth pastor, a school counselor, a therapist, a teacher or professor, anything…TRY ANYTHING.

You never know who is going to understand; you never know who is going to change your life.

And if nothing else, I am here. I understand. Come to me!

I am not a professional by any means and I do not consider myself in a position to solicit any serious advice, but I can listen, I can help you understand, I can encourage, I can remind you that you are not alone in this.

We are not alone in this…

Reach out…now.

We’re in this together.


Lauren is the Founder and Editor of Libero. She started Libero in April 2010, when she shared her story about her struggles with an eating disorder and depression. Now Lauren uses her writing and videos to advocate mental health and body positivity. In her spare time, she enjoys makeup artistry, playing Nintendo, and taking selfies with her furbaby, Zoey.

SITE DISCLAIMER: The opinions and information shared in this article or any other Content on our site may not represent that of Libero Network Society. We hold no liability for any harm that may incur from reading content on our site. Please always consult your own medical professionals before making any changes to your medication, activities, or recovery process. Libero does not provide emergency support. If you are in crisis, please call 1-800-784-2433 or another helpline or 911.