Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Why Can't We See What Others See?

If someone can answer the question below, I would like to say I could give you a million dollars, but I can't. So let's just say I would be forever grateful if anyone can provide me with a little insight.

"We never see ourselves the way people do.  
And it always puzzles me that ED-sufferers find 
themselves unattractive and uninteresting, 
because I have yet to see one of them who really and objectively is. 
All ED-sufferers that I have known so far are 
beautiful, brilliant, (over)sensitive and caring people, 
so I always ask myself: 
"how is it possible that they ever lack self-confidence 
and struggle with self-loathing, even for just a second?"
It really hurts me, because this illness is deeply hurting such amazing people 
and it's such a pity they can't see themselves the way the others do."

 It has been a long time since I have read a truer or more thought provoking statement. Looking back at my stay in treatment and the wonderful people I have met along my recovery journey so far, I can honestly say that my fellow recovering friends are incredible, kind-hearted, beautiful people. Every single one of them.

If that is true, then where does this lack of self-compassion come from? Perhaps these irrational beliefs are simply traits that all (or most) of us with eating disorders possess from an early age. It's as if all of our positive characteristics are completely ignored and the few negatives that we do have are magnified. Maybe those pesky eating disorder voices have told us that we are inadequate and worthless for so long that somewhere along the way our healthy brain begins to believe those thoughts too.

One thing I have learned over the past year, however, is that those irrational beliefs can absolutely be changed - it just takes a whole lot of time and patience. To say I am free of these self destructive thoughts would be a lie, but they have lessened over the past year. Maybe if someone can help me (and many others) understand the question above then we can heal a little more quickly and see ourselves in the same light that others do.



  1. Kelsi,

    I don't comment too often, but I really love your blog. Your posts are always so thought-provoking and they really resonate with me. This post was no different. I have always wished that I could see myself the way others see me. I feel like my thoughts have become so distorted that I cannot see myself clearly and I never know if I can even trust my own thoughts. And because I have a hard time trusting others in general, I never can believe what others say. It's good to hear that it does get better, though. Thank you again for this post!

    1. Well thank you, I really appreciate that. Thanks for reading and commenting! Trust is also a big issue for many of us as our brains become more and more distorted. That actually makes a lot of sense to me... Why should we believe others if we can't even believe ourselves? Best of luck to you! <3

  2. Comparison, judgment, and perfectionism. Those are kind of traits that people suffering from some addictive behaviors "to me". We are so obsessed about our inside, and compare it with the others' outside. By comparing, we think that we are better or worse. Then, perfectionism kicks in to be better. Sometimes, these traits are developed while we were small (emotional abuse or physical abuse). I think that the others are just about the same inside. When I talk with the others openly, I feel like, "oh, they do feel the same." Love, Kyoko

    1. I think you nailed it (like you usually do!). Comparison, judgment, and perfectionism are the things I struggle with most... And inadequacy, but I think that is a result of those three things. It's all intertwined. Such a complicated ball of negative self-judgments. People has climbed out of it before, so I think we can too. :)

  3. This was great. Since giving my heart to Jesus, I have come to see ED as a distinct tool of the enemy to keep us from seeing ourselves as God created us, and to keep us from living to our full potential, for the good God has planned for us.

    There are many moments of grace-filled clarity when I see myself the way God wants me to. But then that whisper comes sometimes that clouds my perceptions and tries to bring me down. The position of my heart in relation to God directly influences how quickly I can silence that evil whisper.

    1. Thanks so much. So glad to hear you are able to silence those unhealthy voices! xx

  4. I read an amazing book recently that I wish I would have known about during my recovery. It's called "There's Nothing Wrong With You." Here's a basic summary:

    Self-Hate is engrained into everyone in childhood, even those with the most loving and supportive environments. It is so common that a lot of people don't even recognize when we're engaging in it. Self-hate makes us think we are "doing something", and we've equated "doing" with being good. As long as we're horrible people, and we know it, then we're working to fix it! Unfortunately, self-hate lies, and doesn't help us change at all. It keeps us stuck.

    I definitely recommend reading it. So enlightening!! Hugs!

  5. Josie, thank you SO much for sharing this with me! I grew up in a very loving and supportive environment and have always wondered why I struggle with with. You just made my day. Downloading that book onto my nook right now! :)

  6. Yes, I had that sort of environment as well. I used to let my eating disorder use it as a weapon against me. "You have no reason to be this messed up. You really are just a loser." Ahh...sneaky tactics! I'm so happy you're going to read it. Let me know what you think!! It's easy to read it really fast, with the fonts and all, but it's definitely worth pausing and pondering as often as possible :)

    1. I will definitely let you know what I think of it when I'm finished! <3