Monday, March 3, 2014

EDA Week 2014: Sock It To Eating Disorders #7

*I wanted to write this on Sunday but I was without internet access during the times I was able to write it. So, here it is just a day late...I guess two since it's past midnight now.*
My socks today are no socks at all! Bare feet for me! Ok, I actually did wear socks today. But hey, what do you want from me? I live in Aberdeen where raining cats and dogs is a warm, summer day. Just go along with me for the sake of the point I am going to try to make.

The reason I decided that today my feet should be completely revealed is because that is what this whole week has been working towards. I sort of laid my cards on the table on day one when I told my story, but today is all about fully coming out of hiding. It is about revealing something naked, true, and ugly (ok, not ugly but you all have to admit that feet are pretty weird!).

Eating Disorders are not pretty. They are something so purely ugly, that we as a society, don't want to look at them. We don't want to acknowledge that they really exist. I've actually had someone very close to me before tell me that I was faking for attention and that everyone has insecurities. And they were right. Everyone does have insecurities, but not everyone looks at their 99 pound body and thinks "You are fat! Fatty fat, fat, fat!" It's because we don't like looking at them that we get ignorance. It's because we don't look at them that it took me years to realize that normal people don't think that about themselves every waking moment of the day.

Eating Disorders are like anything we don't like to think about happening to us or people close to us like your child dying, or getting lung cancer from smoking, or being raped. Those things happen to other people, they don't happen to me. Those are all really extreme examples, but you hear it all the time.

Well, children die. A majority of people who smoke will get cancer. Heck, most people will get cancer. Over 80,000 women got raped in the UK alone last year. People have eating disorders.

And it sucks!

The world sucks. Life sucks! But it's only when we realize that it does suck that we can start to make it better. It's only when realize that other people are going through similar sucky situations that the world seems to like throwing us into, that we can begin to empathize. And when we begin to empathize, to step into another person's shoes and try to feel what it is to live a day in their life, that's when the world begins to become a better place because that's when we realize that other people are human beings just like us.

Now, I'm not at all comparing my recovery with someone losing their child. I can't even begin to imagine what that pain feels like. But I do follow a couple of children cancer foundations on Facebook so I do think about it a lot. And I try and empathize with those parents. At that moment, I don't care what their political views are or what way they put the toilet roll on the rack (under people! under! geez!) because they are a human being who is hurting and I will always try to make other human beings feel better. Because if we all just started trying to help others through the pain of life maybe, just maybe, life would suck so much.

So look at my bare feet! They are real! Look at my eating disorder! It is real.

Eating disorders are something that I don't think you ever fully recover from. I still actively remind myself to eat. I still struggle with body image. I still sometimes think it's pleasant to feel hungry. I'm battling with it still. But some days are good. And on those bad days I know I have people on my side.

I don't want anymore deaths caused by eating disorders. And that's why I chose to write this week. The more we look at the ugly truth, the more prepared we are to deal with it. The more willing we are to be on each others' sides.

So this is me at the end of Eating Disorder Awareness Week 2014 saying I am recovering from Anorexia Nervosa. And, while I'm not proud of ever having an eating disorder, I am proud of where I am today.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

EDA Week 2014: Sock it to Eating Disorders #6

My socks today have California poppies on them. 

Poppies are perennials. Perennials have always, at least to me, signified recovery. They live, they die, and then they come back again. Same plant, just different. 

Recovery is hard. 

When I had the realization that something was wrong, actually wrong, I was scared. Once you realize that something is wrong you know that everything is going to change. Because everything is your choice now. 

I certainly didn't know what to do right away. I actually tried to ignore the niggling  feeling that what I was experiencing wasn't normal. But eventually I came to accept it and deal with it. And that was the beginning of the end. 

Once I started recovery, I started on my way to my "rebirth". 

I am me. I still have the basic same personality. I still have the same likes and dislikes. But I can deal better now. I am the same, but I am different too.

It's definitely hard to explain and I don't know if I've done a very good job of it. But basically, I like flowers. They remind me a lot of what life is and how fleeting it is. And they remind me of what I've gone through.