Eating disorders are not a joke.
In fact, eating disorders are serious psychological disorders characterized by abnormal behaviors and habits towards food.
So let’s stop telling ourselves that eating disorders are “just a phase.”
In fact, let’s stop making assumptions on things we know nothing about.
Anorexia nervosa is not just “eating less,” a person who is anorexic literally starves themselves in order to lose weight.
Bulimia nervosa is not “for attention”, a person who is bulimic forces themselves to throw up in order to get rid the food they have consumed.
Eating disorders are not just different types of diets; they are life-threatening disorders.
If you are thinking about how hard it is to read something this disturbing, imagine what it is like to experience an eating disorder.
Imagine being one of the 30 million people who are currently suffering from an eating disorder in the United States.
Imagine being in my shoes.
Imagine thinking the same thoughts as I do:
By Julia Wright
Food is the type of evil that sneaks into your mouth and rides down your throat and makes a home inside of your stomach.
The girl inside of my stomach does not like them.
When the evil settles around her she kicks and screams inside of me, her feet penetrate the lining of my stomach and push it out just a little bit further each time.
She is only happy when I do not eat.
After a long time of resisting food the girl is happy again and she hugs my stomach, squeezing it so hard that it shrinks again.
With each hour that goes by she gets happier, her excitement makes my hands shake. Her satisfaction drains the energy from my body.
She pushes on my ribs to remind me that I should be excited too, because she knows that I will look down and see their outline.
So I tell myself that I am excited.
That this is the right thing to do.
I need this, and so does she.
I think it is time for us to realize that eating disorders are as much of an illness as diabetes or cancer. Mental illnesses are real illnesses, and no mental illness can be healed without recognition and support.
It is time for us to show that we care.
For those with eating disorders:
I am not going to act like having an eating disorder is easy.
I am not going to tell you that you will recover in no time and never struggle with it again.
Because it is hard, I know it is hard; no one understands more than me how much you are struggling.
But that does not mean you should ever stop trying.
I know you are going to feel like nothing will ever get better for you.
You are going to want to give up.
You are going to want to break down and cry and seclude yourself from the rest of the world.
But I also know this: suffering from this eating disorder proves the infinite amount of strength that is living inside of you.
So do not give up.
Push away the voices in your head that tell you that you will never be good enough.
Tell yourself that you are beautiful and fine the way you are.
Take responsibility; give your body what it is asking you for because it is your job to take care of it.
Get the help you need.
Fight for your life.
You are stronger than your eating disorder.