Doubt is a Big Fat Liar
By Z Zoccolante
Do you remember who you were before the eating disorder? Do you remember your goals and dreams before life was defined by food, body image, or the word skinny?
When you think about being free, does a voice whisper that it’s not possible?
That voice is doubt and it’s a big, fat liar.
They say that doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will. Perhaps it’s because doubt isn’t viewed as something terrifying, like fear can be. Doubt’s the subtle voice seeping like smoke, taking up space, and swirling poison in your thoughts.
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Doubt’s danger lies in its ability to keep you paralyzed from moving in the direction of positive goals. It tells you that you’re not good enough or that you can’t recover.
However, we can beat doubt when we persist in challenging it.
Take this story as an example:
In 7th grade I joined the softball team. During practice I noticed one of the girls was wearing MY green and purple sweatshirt. She’d stolen it! When I told her the sweatshirt was mine she claimed, without flinching, that it was hers.
As we discussed this, doubt crept in. Maybe my sweatshirt didn’t have those stitch lines on the shoulder? What if she had a similar sweatshirt? What if I was wrong?
Finally, as my voice quivered with tears, she said something like, “Ghezz if you think it’s yours that bad just take it already.”
That night when my mom picked me up, a flicker of doubt remained with my relief. I’d gotten my sweatshirt back, despite my tears and feelings of powerlessness, because I’d persisted adamantly in the conversation, claiming it was mine. Although she gave it back, she never admitted her theft.
The voice of the eating disorder is like that clever thief of doubt. It steals time, joy, and relationships. It steals our childhood dreams. Doubt is a bully, but like the sweatshirt story it will give us back our stolen things if we persist.
As you move forward in recovery doubt will whisper, but each step forward is akin to claiming, “I believe that sweatshirt’s mine and I want it back. Eating disorder, I want my life back!”
Eventually, with persistence, doubt crumbles and complies. And you get your life back. Recovery is possible, inevitable even. Be brave and keep moving forward.
You are awesome and doing great things!