Learning how to separate the eating disorder voice from your own can be tricky. Telling the difference between your voice and your eating disorder voice takes time, but is 100% achievable. We want to know how you did it, or how you’re working on it? Project HEAL is asking weekly questions related to eating disorder recovery. For this week’s #WEWANTTOKNOWWEDNESDAY, we asked you:

How did you learn to separate the eating disorder voice from your own?

Here’s what you shared with us:

1. “My ED clinician gave the greatest analogy. She said that everyone has a set of CDs in their life collection. Think of it as every CD is a different voice of reason. So one CD is your mom self, one CD is your friend self, your family self, your goofy self, and another one is your ED self. She said the ED CD is just a part of your collection and the goal is to eject it from your life CD player every time it says anything negative to you, or tries to make you feel bad. You may never get rid of the CD, but over time, once you eject it enough, it won't appear as often and one day it will be stored away under a pile and covered in cobwebs. You want to always have your mindful self CD checked in, and when you catch your ED talking just eject the cd (catch yourself talking negative and associate it with being just a CD that you need to stop playing. It's hard at first but it does work. You catch it very often). It's helped me tremendously.” – Olivia D

2. “Time allowed to figure out who I was. When something in my head didn't line up with that, I knew it wasn't my true voice.” – Erica N

3. “Every time a negative thought about my weight, shape, size or self-worth crossed my mind, I contradicted it with a positive one. I did that even if I didn't fully believe it. Eventually, I was able fully separate 'me' from ED.” – Sonia K

4. “If I could logically piece together that it would harm me in the long run, I knew it wasn't myself talking. I've been fortunate in the fact that I always was able to know actions have reason and consequences after years of remaining positive and learning self-awareness. But if I think 'You don't deserve that food', I have to ask, 'Why don't I? Is it going to hurt my body? Why can others have it?'" – Megan R

5. “If it's something I would never say to a friend and mean it, I know that isn't my own voice saying that, it's my ED. If I hear 'you don't deserve to eat that', I know I would never tell that to a close friend, and therefore it's ED's voice, not my own.” – Allison R

6. “I learned through the help of my friend and visualization. Each time I would come to her for some help because I couldn't distinguish which voice was which, me or ED, she would sit me down and act out two different people. One was an eating disorder and the other one was me. When she was done acting out the two parts she would ask me which one is the more logical one and sounded more like me, and which one was my ED. Obviously the one who insulted me and made me feel worthless was the ED, and the one said comforting things and gave me encouragement and validation was the real me. When it was all acted out for me, and I could see the two different sides, it became easier for me to learn on my own which voice in my head was my ED and which one was actually me, the voice that actually wanted to live.” – Kaidie J


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