Mental Health

Working On Us week #5 – Eating Disorders

illustration of a brain encircled by the words mental health matters

It’s week #5 for the Working On Us series of prompts from Beckie at Beckie’s Mental Mess.  Please visit her post for all the details.

Prompt #1  (Questions)

Question #1  If an eating disorder isn’t about food or weight, what is it all about?  And, what has it done to you personally?

I don’t have an eating disorder, but the way I tend to conceptualize them is a disordered relationship between the mind and the body, and how food fits into that.

Question #2  What is the most difficult thing to handle with your disorder?  (This applies to everyone).

I suppose it would be how much depression has stolen away from life.  My life is quite different now compared to how it used to be when I was well.


Prompt #2 (Photo Prompt)

It’s strange how strongly mirrors can speak to us.  And also strange to consider that not all species have mirror recognition; for example, guinea pigs can’t tell that what they see in the mirror is a reflection of themselves.

Sometimes when I’m having a lot of psychomotor retardation I’ll stare at myself in the mirror and try to force myself to smile, with no success; my face just doesn’t move that much.  It feels kind of like I’m looking at a mask that’s been glued onto my face.

I also feel like I’ve aged very quickly in the past few years.  This may be a distorted view of my own reflection, but I’m inclined to think that illness has taken its toll on my body.

I don’t spend a lot of time looking in mirrors anymore.  I care a lot less about how I look than I used to, although I was never really all that preoccupied with appearance.  I don’t take selfies, because I’d rather have pictures of the guinea pigs.

So, bringing it back to the image about, I’m not turning in shame from the mirror, but at the same time, I’m not that interested in seeing it face to face.



16 thoughts on “Working On Us week #5 – Eating Disorders”

  1. Ashley, I always look forward to your interpretation and answers to the prompts.
    I don’t think I have an eating disorder, but other’s probably assume I do. I do turn to food for comfort though.
    I couldn’t agree with you more about how depression has stolen so much from our lives. Boy, I really can’t disagree with that assessment. There are days that drift one into the next. Some are harder than others, but when you have depression days just seem to escape.
    I can so appreciate your interpretation for the photo prompt. I can’t stand seeing myself in the mirror. I feel sad, why bother looking at myself feeling this way. As far as selfies go, I don’t recall if you saw the recent pic of myself with my new hairstyle. That has got to be the first picture of just myself in ages. I’m so self-conscious and because other bloggers requested to see my hair, I took the damn selfie. I hated doing it, I felt so utterly exposed and felt as if I was forcing a smile.
    Depression really does steel so much from us. Heck, I can still remember times of pure happiness and not feeling so self-conscious, but those days are so long gone.
    Thank you, so much again for being a part of “Working on Us” I do value your opinions and thoughts. 💗

  2. I find it hard to tell what depression has stolen from me, because I’ve been depressed since my teens, and trying to guess how I would be without depression is a big counter-factual to contemplate. I’m guessing probably a lot more financially secure, perhaps with more friends and more settled in a community and probably married with kids.

    Re: mirror recognition: my parents have some reflective material on their garden fence and my Dad saw a bird spend quite a while trying to fight with its own reflection a week or so ago.

    I don’t think I’ve ever taken a selfie, although that’s not really because of depression. I think maybe once or twice relatives have insisted I be in one they’ve taken, but I’ve never taken one.

    1. The bird must have been pretty funny to watch. The guinea pigs don’t seem to recognize it’s a guinea pig in the mirror; I think they go more by smell than sight.

  3. I love what you had to say about the image, about how you aren’t ashamed to look in the mirror but you’re not really interested anyway. It really captures the essence of the picture.

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