It’s more of a scene, really, than a whole play, and maybe one day it will turn into an entire play, but for now I like it just as a scene. However, it really brings me down every time I work on it. If I didn’t need it for my creative writing class on Thursday it would go into “the drawer” and not come out for 6 months to 6 years. But, since I need it, I have to look at it, and look at it, and edit it, and think about it, and slave over it, because I really, really, really want an A. The scene is about a girl’s first visit to the resident therapist at an in-patient ED clinic. I have never been to one but I’ve read accounts and seen documentaries, and I have been to a therapist. The girl basically tells the therapist that even though she may leave the clinic heavier, healthier, and with strategies for coping in the real world, she will never be completely fixed.
And this is true. I am sure that on some level when my therapist discharged me she knew that I wasn’t going to be okay. She even told me to go back if I needed help (I think she has since retired otherwise I would). I know that no matter how much help I get I will never be 100% okay, and I have accepted that. It’s just not the ideal situation to be in. People get sick and they get better. Other disorders have medications and advanced therapy so people can live virtually without the disorder. Addictions can be cured. But Anorexia can never go away.
When I got the idea in my head to write that play I grabbed my notebook instantly and just started writing, which I don’t often do. I usually file the idea away in my brain for later, but this one, for some reason, I felt had to be written as quickly as possible. I think I’m tired of the lack of understanding in the general public about eating disorders. Everyone knows what cancer is. Not many know about things like crohns or other illnesses that effect a fair amount of people, but once they find out someone they know has it they are instantly sympathetic, even if they don’t know exactly what it is. Few are instantly sympathetic about eating disorders. Too many still use them in jokes (there was a small one at this year’s Oscars which ticked me off momentarily) and as ways to judge people they think are too skinny. And they don’t even judge them seriously. I don’t tell anyone about my eating disorder anymore. First of all, it never comes up, and second, if it ever does they always look at me like I just lied to their faces because I’m not skinny enough to be anorexic.
I wish there was a way to get enough people to listen.