20 Things Someone With an Eating Disorder Wishes They Could Tell You

I read a very interesting article today. As I was reading I found it quite interesting how I felt about the statements. I noticed that many of the statements do not apply to me today like they did in the past. The statements that once had a heavier meaning to me, now are just something that I “felt before”. It’s funny how something that felt so strong and controlling can now just seem like a “passing thought”.

I’m not sure when many of these statements lost their power for me, but it’s something that can’t be pin-pointed in time. You don’t wake up one day and say, “hey, this idea no longer has power over me”. Recovery, and the learning, becomes a part of you, and I’ve found that you don’t know you’re ahead until you look back and see that you’re no longer “there”… Wherever “there” is for you. For me, “there” is no longer feeling the statements below as true.

For people who may be starting recovery or feeling truth in these statements, this article might be helpful to you or your friends/family. It does verbalized some ideas fairly well. Eating disorders are hard to verbalize and understand- articles like these tend to be helpful.

As you walk through your journey remember that each step is a learning experience and that you will take something with you.

So, without further ado, here is the article:

The world of eating disorders is one I know well – it’s secretive and elusive, a realm of bones and hush-hush tones. Talking about it is hard. Our voices get lost amongst the vociferous cries of our mental counterparts in our head. Even when we do speak out, all we see are expressions of embarrassment and confusion, exchanging anxious glances to encourage the conversation along to a nicer, safer place.

We’re often hard to read; our minds are a cacophony but yet the emotions we allow to pour through are stifled and indifferent. As much as mental health is progressively becoming an active talking point in societal discourse, the nuances of mental health disorders are scarcely discussed – maybe because there are so many it’s impossible to find a starting point. However through my own personal journey, I have largely remained silent too, feeling that any attempt at explaining something that’s an entire grey area would be hopeless. But although the world might not be ready to unearth the monumental complexities of eating disorders just yet, it might be ready to hear 20 things that someone with an eating disorder wishes they were able to tell you.

1. I envy you for being able to eat without a burdening feeling of guilt, shame and self loathing.

2. I often envision myself eating normally – enjoying it – but the idea is always better than reality.

3. Please don’t feel guilty about eating in front of me. Watching other people eat with enjoyment spread across their faces fills me with a warmth you wouldn’t know.

4. I wish I could cook for you and share the meal together. I really do.

5. My anorexia isn’t an attempt to be thin and beautiful. It’s about disappearing entirely.

6. My bulimia isn’t about having my cake and eating it. It’s about punishing myself.

7. I’m sorry that I cancel on you so much but my bulimia forces unexpected dates upon me that I have to attend.

8. If I do ever eat anything in front of you, take that as a huge sign of trust.

9. If I do ever eat anything in front of you, please don’t bring any attention to this situation.

10. Eating disorders aren’t just a starvation of food – they are a starvation of life and joy.

11. I am not being rude when I don’t join in your conversations about food. I just feel so disconnected from that part of life.

12. It annoys me when you go on diets because you’re perfect and happy as you are. Don’t ruin that. I know where obsession leads.

13. I didn’t look at a picture of a model and seek to acquire their figure. I looked at myself and hated the reflection; I thought I took up too much space.

14. When I ask you if I look big, I am not attention seeking. I need reassurance that my quest to diminish is working.

15. Me not wanting to be your size doesn’t mean I think you’re fat. It means I associate your size with happiness of which I am not worthy of.

16. When meeting new people, please don’t imply that I eat to try and make me not stand out. I think they will see me as weak for being an eater.

17. My eating disorder doesn’t act alone; its friends are depression and anxiety.

18. I used to love food and still do. I probably think about food more than you do.

19. My eating disorder isn’t a choice – it’s an illness.

20. I will never expect you to understand me and my disorder as I don’t think I even understand myself.

Link to the full article:


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