The Struggle is Real, Your Perception is Not; Living Life With An Eating Disorder
It’s not wrong to think that a person struggling with an eating disorder spends their whole day standing in front of a mirror and taking black and white selfies for Instagram wearing barely any clothes with some depressing quote as a caption. That’s what society has made eating disorders look like. We are made to believe that eating disorders exist only in women whose ribs are sticking out of their skin and cheek bones sink into their face. What I’m wondering is why the media doesn’t express the real facets of having an eating disorder. The honest truth about dealing with this disease.
I question why society doesn’t point out that every time someone with an eating disorder is called to the kitchen for dinner their heart sinks down into their gut so deep that it is hard for them to even function. Or when everyone is eating at the family dinner table how they can’t understand why the people around them can eat so calmly without a second thought… because their body is so numb from fear that it is almost impossible for them to pick up that fork. Why are we so afraid to express the reality of eating disorders?
I was 13 when I first started having an eating disorder. The diagnosis was Bulimia Nervosa. Since then I have struggled with eating disorders on and off. I am 22 years old now, so that is nine years. Almost a decade. I have had many different experiences with my eating disorder. I went from bulimic, to remission, back to bulimia with anorexia combined, remission again, then anorexia/over exercising, remission, then binge eating disorder, remission once again, and then back to anorexia nervosa. I have learned that eating disorders are not so much about eating. It is a mind set. It is a coping mechanism. It can be about control, but it doesn’t have to be. It can be so many different things, everybody is different.
Lastly, to anyone who says the following things to someone with an eating disorder:
“Just eat something”
-thanks, that really helps.
“You’re so pretty, you don’t have to do that”
-We don’t “do that” because we don’t think we’re pretty.
“How much weight have you lost?”
-none of your business
“Why don’t you just exercise and eat a healthy diet”
-thanks for the advice, but it’s not about that.
“It’s just a phase”
-thank you for the info, but no.