This week is National Eating Disorder Awareness Week. Even after being diagnosed almost 6 years ago I still am a little surprised when I find out how many people deal with eating disorders, especially people I know.
I’ve never kept quiet about my disorder. I don’t think it’s something to be ashamed of. It shouldn’t be hidden. Keeping it secret only feeds the stigma around eating disorders, which prevents people with them from getting the help they need.
Even my specialists treated it like a joke. My therapist rarely talked about it, my dietician called me fat, and my specialist would look at the number the nurse wrote down on my chart after she weighed me, and would tell me to stop exercising and he’d see me next week. They barely looked at me.
My family didn’t take it seriously, so I dropped out of outpatient care to get them to stop making jokes and spent several long years fighting, and I still am.
I don’t know what the correct way to support someone going through recovery is, but I know that I didn’t receive it. Eating disorders are serious. They are the most deadly mental disorders, and I get to fight mine every single day. It’s gotten easier than it was a few years ago, but it’s still there.
Eating disorders are real and very serious. 1 out of every 3 people diagnosed will die from complications caused by eating disorders. And the rest of us that survive live a weird, food obsessed life.
Maybe not all people live with it forever, but I know I will. It’s a learning process. But I’m ok. Every day gets a little easier, and maybe there are some back slides, but they don’t go as far as they used to anymore. I hope that others who are just starting their struggle know they aren’t alone, and that those who are seasoned in our battles know that, too. We are not alone, and one day we will hit that point where we can say recovered instead of recovering.