OK, so I want to clear some things up about Anorexia because I am getting so fed up with how it is being portrayed:
1. It is not a choice.
2. It is not an extreme diet.
3. It is not just about body image.
4. It affects EVERYTHING in your life. It is often a coping mechanism to help deal with difficult issues, and frequently goes hand in hand with depression.
5. People with it are ill.
6. It is NOT glamorous.
7. People who beat it work bloody hard keeping it at bay, and just because someone is a healthy weight doesn’t mean that they are cured, fixed and not still working hard to fight it, everyday and could still do with support and understanding sometimes.
8. There needs to be more understanding about it.
9. One in five anorexics will die.
In my line of work, I read a lot of Chick Lit novels and I’m tired of the constant, derogatory joking about thin, “anorexic” characters, who are envied and always hateful, superior acting characters. Joking about bulimics, thin women who will obviously go and throw up cake as soon as they’ve eaten it are NOT funny. This is not something to be mocked, to be envied or to be ignored and it makes my blood boil, how often I have to read or hear ignorant people making foolish comments.
Yesterday a friend of mine mentioned a study which concluded that men should stop saying that they fancy skinny girls in an attempt to prevent anorexia. If that’s the best remedy society can come up with then I fear for the health of many young men and women. And older men and women too because it can effect everybody. And it is such a scary, lonely, confusing place to be.
I am proud to be healthy again after kicking the butt of this dangerous illness, but it does still affect me sometimes. The old habits die hard and the tempting anorexic voice still whispers in my ear, though quieter and I can try harder to shut her up, but so many people are out there, needing help, needing understanding. Please let’s try to help them.