My fiancé told me recently about this game he played with his fellow cast members one evening. It was like Apples to Apples but it wasn’t just nouns and adjectives. I guess the premise is you make up jokes with phrases. One of the phrases was “binging and purging” and it would have gone to “is ____” or whatever. Everyone else thought that was hilarious, but the Actor, my fiancé did not. He was the judge for the round it was played in and he didn’t pick it saying it was too close to home.
“But it’s hilarious!” someone said.
No. It’s not. Binging and purging is not hilarious, and I don’t understand any world where that would be funny. I did not personally purge, but I did binge, and I would exercise for hours to work it off and deny myself food for days afterward. I felt awful. I felt worthless and terrible and I hated myself. I wanted to disappear into nothing. I didn’t feel loved. I thought I would be better off dead. There were so many reasons I restricted and I binged as a result. My body thought I was starving, which I was, so it’s reaction was to eat as much food as it could like I wouldn’t be around food again for a long time and I had to store it like an animal about to go into hibernation. I could have slept forever, too. I had no energy to do anything. I fought through every workout. I would be tired but I would force myself to keep going. I was only worth something if I didn’t eat and worked out all the time and weighed less than I did when I was 8 years old.
When people do things like that to themselves they are in a desperate state. They feel worthless for numbers of reasons that takes therapy to identify. It feels awful when you binge. You feel full and sick and on top of that are all the emotions you feel. How terrible you are. What a failure you are. You have to get rid of it. If you gain any weight you will be nothing. A failure. An idiot. A loser. The worst person to every walk the planet. The worst person to exist in the universe. Your whole worth is put on your weight because it’s the one thing you have in life that you can control. It is the one thing that no one else can effect. People can love you and make you feel loved. They can hate you and make you feel terrible and wonder why they hate you. But no one can control your weight but you. That’s why it’s so important to people with eating disorders. That is how they, we, cope with things that are hard. We don’t know any other way. That’s just how it goes until we get help.
It’s a sad and desperate thing. It’s not funny. People are killing themselves when they binge and purge. It’s not something to laugh about. People just don’t have an understanding of eating disorders. They know the misconceptions, like all anorexics are spoiled rich blonde girls. They don’t know the truth. They don’t know that 1 in 3 people diagnosed with an eating disorder will die from complications related to it. They don’t know that it is a serious mental disorder that can’t just go away or be fixed with medications. There is no other treatment for eating disorders other than weight gain and therapy. If depression is coupled with it they can take antidepressants but there is no pill that treats an eating disorder. They don’t know that it can rip families apart and ruin lives. They don’t know about the emotional strain. They just think it’s funny, and personally I can’t even begin to understand how it can seem humorous.
Shame on that company for making that game with that in there. Shame on the people that think it’s funny. And most of all shame on the education systems that go over eating disorders in a quick slide in a PowerPoint presentation about mental disorders instead of giving eating disorders their own PowerPoint presentation and an entire lesson on them. Awareness needs to be spread, I know this, and part of my blog is to help with that. That way people won’t think that killing yourself slowly is funny anymore.