An eating disorder is not glamorous or desirable. It’s the smell of burning flesh as you set fire to your own skin covering the body you hate so much. It’s not being able to wear shorts and bikinis on the hottest day of the year. It’s the feeling of your last regurgitated meal sticking to and rotting your teeth. It’s losing all your loved ones because food is all that matters. It’s sitting in the classroom for hours and not getting the grades you’ve always wanted. It’s 8x the fatal amount of paracetamol tablets that you thought would help you escape feeling this way about yourself. It’s excruciatingly forcing every meal up into the toilet bowl until there’s blood in your saliva. It’s freezing cold. It’s wrapping your emaciated arms around your skeletal figure in an attempt to hold yourself together. It’s hip bones and ribs turning purple with bruises while you sleep on your comfiest mattress. It’s looking in the mirror and seeing fat, no matter how underweight you are. It’s the scent of decay as your family falls apart and your hair falls out. It’s the hunger cramps that have you doubling over and calling out in the middle of the night. It’s the pressure of a thousand voices beating against the inside of your skull saying you’re fat, you’re a bitch, you’ll never be good enough. It’s your kidneys and liver shutting down. That fluttering feeling? Heart palpitations. It’s hospital visits; needles, ECGs, weigh ins. It’s months of your life wasted in a psychiatric unit. It’s the disgust in your face as you look at your HUGE body. But it’s only you that thinks it’s huge. It’s not worth it. It’s not about the food. You won’t achieve a body you love. What you will achieve is a life not worth living. And I’ve been there. It’s not beautiful, but you are without having to lose weight. It’s beatable.
This week is National Eating Disorder Awareness Week, raising awareness for an illness that is very close to my heart. People often mistake awareness about this topic for the stereotypes out there about this disorder: that people choose this, that it’s a “lifestyle”, that appearance is all the person cares about, that the skinnier you are, the sicker you are. These assumptions couldn’t be further from the truth. On the contrary, eating disorders are complex, devastating conditions that affect millions of people each year (20 million women and 10 million men in the US as of 2011). Not to mention Anorexia Nervosa has the highest mortality rate of ANY mental illness. This is a serious, life-threatening condition, yet research is underfunded, insurance coverage remains horribly inadequate, and societal pressures continue to flood the minds of humanity.
The people I’ve met through this journey are truly the most driven, genuine, caring, intelligent, selfless and incredible people I’ve ever come across in this world, yet struggle to see their own self-worth. Let’s use this week to spread honest awareness about eating disorders, and not build upon those negative, hurtful stereotypes. Be brave and become an advocate for those who have not yet learned to use their power. Help to end the stigma. I send all my loving energy and thoughts into the universe and to all the dear friends who have lost their lives to this battle, those fighting this battle every second of every day, and those who have found life on the other side of this, in recovery. No one deserves to be enslaved to their own mind or to feel unworthy of love or anything good in this world. Without the help of treatment, friends, and family, I wouldn’t be where I am today and I am forever grateful. Ladies, for those of you that the universe has placed by my side in this journey together, you’re the main reason I’m still here today and I’m here for you always, wherever you may be.
NEDAwareness Week Photo Challenge
Day 2 - your favorite body part
Honestly, there aren’t a lot of things I like about myself. But I picked my eyes. I’m trying to love them. I don’t have any eyelashes, or any eyebrows. I can’t remember what I looked like with eyelashes or eyebrows. But bald is beautiful too, right?
Fuck the “no carbs after 6” rule.
Pay no mind to the “don’t eat after 7” rule.
Eat what you want.
Eat when you’re hungry.
Eat when you want.
Go over the “recommended” calorie intake if you so please!
Do not deprive yourself of food.
Love your body.
Do not deny your body the food and nutrition you need.
There shouldn’t be rules when it comes to eating.
Your body is beautiful.