I recently shared my personal story and I received a text from my dad saying, “I am sorry I didn’t see it, I guess I didn’t know how to look.” But the truth is: even if he had wanted to, he couldn’t have seen since I was hiding it so well and speaking up wasn’t really an option. We often assume that an eating disorder equals a super skinny girl. And that it is something we can see. Eating disorders go undetected often when the person suffering is too afraid to speak up.
But the truth is that eating disorder can take any form, any gender, body type, skin color, age.
And they are way more common than we often realize.
When I was in my darkest years, people couldn’t know or notice anything. I ate pretty ’normal’ in front of everyone and wasn’t saying anything. It always happened when I was alone at home and could hide it.
I remember going to at least 3 different grocery stores to buy the things I would binge on. So that the cashier wouldn’t judge me for buying so much s***. And I remember this deep feeling of being crazy after every binge. I never felt so lonely in my entire life.
Sometimes opening up about your eating disorder backfires
Once I tried to share it with a friend, who answered, “you are crazy,” with a judgmental look on his face. I didn’t say anything to anyone after this for years.
But one day I took my courage back and shared it within a safe space. To someone, I knew had so much love, kindness, and compassion for me that I could say it out loud. That someone was: myself. I said the entire truth to myself and made the decision to share my story.
I chose to go online to do this. There was something that felt safe somehow online. I knew I could find people going through the same as me, and that they would welcome it and understand me. I felt I could hide behind my screen. And that made it easier for me.
This was the best decision I made in my entire life. I found people who resonated with my story. It took my shame away; it gave me the strength to say the full story and to help people to do the same. So that eating disorder is no longer taboo.
Speaking up about your eating disorder helps:
- people who are directly experiencing the same things as us
- others around us understand and support us in this process
- we acknowledge that we need help, love, and support and that it is OK to ask for it
- you take a step further toward recovery
Speaking up can be scary because it makes the eating disorder feel real.
But opening up also proves to ourselves we do have the strength and courage within ourselves to recover.
I personally will keep sharing over and over, speaking my truth. With hopes to inspire people who feel the same and to encourage them to share theirs as well. Because together we are stronger. And because people around want to help. Most of all, love, kindness, and compassion were keys for me to recover.
You got this dear warrior.
(Last Updated: June 28, 2022)