It has since been two years that I started this page and if you hadn’t figured that this was a blog surrounding someone’s stumbling journey through an eating disorder, then like most people, you probably haven’t read a single post. Rest assured that there’s no ground breaking or internet shaking commentary in here anyway, more so just an outlet for someone that grew tired of moaning to certain people about her problems, so decided it better to share it with the whole World Wide Web instead.
I’m amazed I’ve committed to something of my own choice for the best part of two years, albeit sporadically. That doesn’t mean to say that I can’t commit to anything – bugger me, I committed to eating broccoli for dinner for over a year and if that isn’t commitment, I don’t know what is – however, I do have a habit of getting bored pretty quickly, in the hope that I will find some greener grass somewhere else or in something else. Grass that I’ve recently established is never going to be found in London. But that’s a whole other worm-spilling can.
In these two years, two weeks of National Eating Disorder Awareness Weeks have gone by, where on both occasions, I have failed to acknowledge its coming about. Not that I wasn’t actually aware of the week, but I’d just decided that I didn’t feel the need or did not particularly want to pipe up about it. Not that social media would ever allow you to be unaware anyway because it even has its own hashtag. I’m sure you can guess what the hashtag is.
For me, the importance of raising awareness of this week and in particular this year, is not to make people aware of an eating disorders dangers, its mortality rate, its misery, its damn right life ruining properties, but to raise awareness of the fact that you truly don’t know what someone else is going through. By helping to raise awareness, it might well help someone, somewhere, suffering with an eating disorder, to make others aware of their internal struggle that is quite ironically, eating them alive.
This year was particularly important for me to raise awareness because although I am so far down recovery road, like you wouldn’t believe, there is not a day that goes by that I don’t still struggle; battling with the voices in my head that crave the need to be drowning in a life that revolves around anorexia again.
Do I often have thoughts of going back to old ways? Yes.
Do I wish I was still skinny? Yes.
Do I pick apart my body in front of the mirror each evening and (given the time of the month) cry about the flabby bits? Yes.
Do I suppress guilt every time I eat what once were feared foods? Yes.
Do I feel disheartened when I don’t exercise in the means that I used to? Yes.
Do I every day feel like shit that I’ve gained every effin’ kg I lost? Yes.
Did I cry when I saw the girl in front of me at Parkrun last week because I knew she had an eating disorder? Yes.
It’s very easy to think that people are aware of eating disorders because they can look at someone’s size in relation to their genetic make-up (one 50kg body is healthy, another is suffering with anorexia), their behaviour, their eating/non-eating habits, their exercise habits and think “I am aware that they have an eating disorder”. Note this an extremely simplistic model, here.
In many cases, you would be right in thinking that these can be the biggest giveaway signs, however I think it’s even more important to raise awareness about the signs you can’t see and the signs that people will never be aware of until it is spoken out loud or written in some sort of internet post you can see before you now.
So that is why this year, I am raising awareness. Raising awareness of the signs that you don’t see. The signs that people don’t know about.
If my blog can help just one person be more aware of eating disorders, or help just one person feel brave enough to speak out, then I’d consider my work here done.