“I’ve shoved a toothbrush down my throat too, I know what it’s like”

My response to this was silence. How on earth do you reply to such a blatantly untrue statement? While I agree that regularly making yourself throw up is unhealthy, that on its own does not qualify as an eating disorder. If ed’s were a response to one triggering situation in one’s life, then the disorder would stop when the situation was over.

An eating disorder is a way of coping with, suppressing, expressing struggle, or even a cry for help when no words seem to do the job. It is not a phase, and although people recover, that is different to a disorder just stopping. No eating disorder fixes itself. 

Later on in the same conversation, the person who made the bold statement in the title started talking about a friend who was really ill, and said to me “no, like, she was much worse than you.” May I just point out (again) that ed’s are MENTAL illnesses with physical consequences. Just because she may be lighter than me or have medical complications that I don’t have right at this very moment in time, it doesn’t mean I am any less sick. I just wanted to literally cry and scream and try to articulate just how overwhelming it is to be completely consumed by thoughts about my body, food, exercise and self criticism 24 hours a day.

I know I have said what I’m about to say before, but I want to say it again:

Society has bred itself to be exceptionally poised to idealise the thin and judge the fat. Many people do not know where a lean body becomes a medically underweight body. 

At 19 years old, I have grown up a lot in the last few years. I have also spent that time being eating disordered and the more time passes, the more I realise that the last time I had a half decent attitude to food (can’t remember feeling good about my body) was around age 14/15. Even then, I had some hints of being over cautious about how much I ate and did go through many phases of calorie counting. As a result of all that I don’t know what my adult mindset is like without an eating disorder. I’ve never been in that place, and I’m scared of what it’d be like.

I remember reading somewhere that anorexics wanted to stay physically and mentally children, and part of me does want that. It is simpler like that; yet at the same time I love being independent and following my own ambitions…. conflicted, as always.

Advertisements