It's Eating Disorder Awareness Week and I've been toying with what to write. It's a taboo topic in most of my family, and I really think it's because we were all dealing with our own demons at that point in our lives. 10 years recovered. My bout with an eating disorder seems minimal in comparison to most, but it was very very real for me. I thought I might write a list of the top 4 things I wish people had known about bulimia.
1) Not all who are suffering are emaciated. Purging is only one part of that disease. And the effects of the disease are often life long.
2) Telling someone "you're not even fat" doesn't help. Often times, it's not about weight at all. In my case, it was a (extremely unhealthy) coping mechanism during a chaotic time. It later turns from your initial purpose into a dark, haunting addiction.
3) Both anorexia and bulimia sufferers are often junk food addicts (key word, addict). They might eat "normally" around you and then "make up for" the time they spent "eating normally" later. Harsh, but true.
4) An eating disorder is like any other addiction, it's a life-long battle after recovery. Learning to have a healthy relationship with food can be difficult and often requires you to build up a resiliency to urges.
It's silly to think that over half the people in my life a) didn't know me then b) didn't know it was happening or c) still might know about this-- regardless, the goal is awareness, the object is to be honest in my writing.
Thanks for reading.