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  • Shared Experiences

    I suffer from anorexia and am wondering if anyone has experienced of overcome the total confusion on wanting/not wanting to get better?


    Just wondering if anyone has experienced of overcome the
    total confusion on wanting/not wanting to get better.

    I fight so hard and tell myself to get better because in the
    future I do want children and my body to have periods again but then I look at
    myself and not being so thin that I need to be in hospital that I tell myself I
    am not a good anorexic.

    I feel guilty for wanting to get better and usually cant
    admit this.

    I feel lost and confused about how I should feel.
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 1


    The Butterfly Foundation was founded in August 2002 by Claire Vickery who found many ‘gaps’ in the public health system for those experiencing eating disorders. … View Profile

    Hi Lisa,

    The way that you feel is not uncommon and what you are experiencing is something that many people with an eating disorder go through. I firstly want to acknowledge that how you are feeling now is real but that you can overcome this.

    You can receive help at The Butterfly Foundation, and we are there to speak with you over the phone or face to face with one of our intern psychologists. It may be easier first to make the call to our support line on 1800 33 4673 or book an appointment to meet at our offices in Crows Nest Sydney if you are in the area.

    It is also a good thing to be seeking medical assistance and talking with a professional about this. That is the first positive step towards recovery. Our encouragement would be to make contact with The Butterfly Foundation and someone will be able talk further with you.

  • Lisa Hughes

    HealthShare Member

    Hi Lisa    

    I am going through similar thoughts/feelings. I have had 5 hospital admissions over the last 18 mths & have been going really well at home until now. Through each admission I was constantly thinking I want to get better, I'm sick of living like this but I don't want the weight gain that goes with it. Why can't I just get my head fixed & my body stay like this?"

    People tell me I need to get better for my kids - this is something I'm constantly battling with & feel extremely guilty for because ED is sometimes louder (especially at the moment)

    Congratulations for admitting you feel this way - it is a positive step in the right direction. Good luck with your recovery, it's a bumpy road but one that does have an end xoxo

  • McKinley Pearson

    HealthShare Member

    Hi Lisa

    I have only realised I have had an eating disorder for the last 2 years. I was so surprised to read you post as I felt like I had written it myself.  I experience the exact same struggles every day.  I am despearte to get better as my husband and I want to start a family.  However, the eating disorder is fighting me harder than ever before and I feel like I am failing rather than getting better and putting on weight so I can have an opportunity to have children.  I feel very lost and confused.  I don't know what else to do.  I see a dietician, therapist and have the app “recovery record” but don't seem to be getting any better.  I am so sorry to hear that you are experiencing the same.  It is so so so cruel!

    I wish you all the luck in the world and if you find something helpful to get you back on the road to recovery please let me know.

    By the way, I strongly suggest you download the app “Recovery Record”  It reminds me to eat and my dietician can see my daily meals.

  • Emma Webster

    Clinical Psychologist, Psychologist

    I am a warm, supportive and compassionate therapist, committed to assisting my clients to connect to their inner wisdom and strength, to develop mindful awareness … View Profile

    I agree with the comments above that it is not uncommon to feel a whole mixture of feelings regarding whether or not you want to get better. For some people, eating disorders can be present for years before they feel ready to change. Sometimes wanting to change comes and goes in waves, at different times in your life or with different experiences.

    The reason why people feel resistance to getting better is multi-layered and complex. Often there is a strong attachment to an eating disorder because of the role it serves for you. For example, it may have been there occasionally to help manage life crisis or help you feel in control, to cope with difficult and uncomfortable emotions, or to avoid approaching other situations, demands or conflict. Therefore it is no wonder it is so hard to give up.

    Some people feel that others are exaggerating the problem or are mistaken about their eating disorder symptoms. Others are aware that they are struggling but feel ashamed or afraid. Some people are ambivalent. On the one hand you may recognise that the eating diosrder isn't consistent with your values, or that it is getting in the way of important things you would like in your life, such as a meaningful relationship or to have children. On the other hand you may fear the potential effects of treatment such as weight gain, or interference with activity such as exercise, restricting food intake, purging or losing weight. 

    Whatever the case, it is important to understand the role the eating disorder has served, how it is maintained, and why change is so hard. Once you have an understanding of this, treatment strategies can be put in place. Depending on the circumstances, some people may be at risk (e.g., due to medical consequences or rapidly increasing symptoms). Therefore I agree with the Butterfly Foundation in seeking medical assistance or talking to a professional. Accepting and opening up to change is a process that takes time, from recognition of the negative impact of the eating disorder to a decision to recover. Support is there to help you through it. 

  • 1


    Rowena Bianchino


    Rowena Bianchino is a psychotherapist at Harbour Therapy Clinic, Coffs Harbour, practising primarily within the existential tradition of psychotherapy and counselling. This mode of practice combines … View Profile

    So let's imagine that there is you, the one who wants to get well and meet the goals you have set out for yourself and then there is your eating disorder headspace that comes in over the top and demands that you stay unwell. 

    It is not so difficult to recognise your ED headspace, because usually it is highly critical and harsh. You on the other hand, want the best for yourself as you would anyone you really cared for. 

    One of the tricks is that when your eating is disordered so is your thinking. It's a kind of catch-22. You desperately want to stop the obsession but you can't and so your ED gains more power. 

    The point is to be gentle but firm. Gentle with yourself, but firm with with your ED headspace. By sticking to your treatment plan, whatever that may be, you give yourself time to build resiliance and put up resistance. 

    It's not easy and you shoudn't have to do it alone and yet when others try to help it feels like the last thing you want. Sometimes you might need to “fake it till you make it” till you can get well enough to really put up a good fight.

    This may or may not have helped . Regardless…best of luck. Asking for help is the first step!


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