I’ve been considering doing this A-Z blogging challenge and I’m already 2 days behind, so I thought I’d knock off two letters at the same time. It’s a topic I’ve written about before but tonight I stumbled across the following article:
In the article, McCarthy talks about how her eating disorder went unnoticed by doctors, friends, and family because she was overweight. I find her story to be really sad, and I completely relate to it. In a way, I was lucky. When I began my long journey through anorexia and bulimia, I was thin. When I was considered as “cured” as I was going to be by doctors years later, I was even thinner. For many years, when I opened up to people about my eating disorder, they immediately felt sorry for me and had nothing but words of comfort and support.
Over the last four and a half years (basically since I had the twins) I have gained a lot of weight, and many would now consider me fat. It’s what I call myself when I look in the mirror, not in a “You go, girl!” sort of way, but in a “You’re pathetic!” way. I’ve noticed something though in the last few years. When I open up to someone about my eating disorder, I am now met with surprise, off-colour jokes, and outright disbelief. (“Everyone thinks they had an eating disorder.”) and I’m pretty sure the reason they respond like this is because of my weight. Many people assume (and tell me) that I was bulimic only and not also anorexic, because, well, I’m fat.
This harms and hurts me more than these people can know.
When you have experienced an eating disorder, the issues never go away. I weigh more than I ever have in my entire life and yet I continue to have eating and food issues every day. There is never a day when I am free from feeling disgust, shame, guilt, or disappointment about eating. And when I try to reach out only to be pushed away because of my weight, it really affects me.
This is a very real issue. The bottom line is that anyone regardless of size or shape can have a serious eating disorder and if someone reaches out to you, listen. Don’t judge them based on your misperceptions. Believe them and believe in them. Everyone deserves this, not just the stereotypes.
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