|Read some more of my book!
||[Aug. 29th, 2003|07:46 am]
How I feel about this disease:
It is not the fault of those who have Anorexia Nervosa for coming down with this disease, it is the fault of society. The "ideal" body image that our culture portrays carries much of the blame for the increasing percentage of eating disorder victims. If society didn't practically brainwash people into losing their self-esteem and feeling horrible about themselves unless they fit into the mold sculpted by our culture, then we would have a lot less people with eating disorders.
And as to how I feel about this deadly disease, frankly I feel that it can be prevented. If thinness ceases to be obsessed over by this culture, people would feel better about their bodies. And if they felt better about their bodies, they would feel better about themselves as well. They would lose the insecurity that is brought on by this culture. And that's just it. Insecurity lies behind every eating disorder, and whether people are feeling insecure about their bodies, their personalities, or any other aspect of themselves, an eating disorder can easily be caused. And I'm not talking just about anorexia; bulimia and compulsive overeating also result from the victims not being happy with themselves.
But instead of society's views getting better as they should, they are getting worse. Deaths are being caused instead of prevented, and more and more people are slipping into the clutches of eating disorders. I can't tell you how many people have come up to me and said something to the degree of: "You're anorexic? I wish I could be...I really need to lose some weight." So as you see, in many cases anorexia is seen as desirable. It is simply not taken seriously. And I will tell you this much---a serious psychological disease should certainly not be seen as a weight loss method!
Anorexia nervosa is not something you are able to get out of as soon as you have acheived your goal weight--it stays with you for life. And even if you are able to fight it and get back to a somewhat normal existence, it is always lurking in the corner of your mind, waiting for the next opportunity to strike. But that doesn't mean that it is pointless to try; in fact I am implying exactly the opposite. The symptoms that go along with anorexia are quite severe and can turn one's life into a living hell. If a person is able to overcome this disease, their life becomes livable again. It may be a constant battle and probably always will be, but they are able to re-discover who they are and enjoy life once again.
Allow me to draw from my own experiences, for example. Overcoming this disease was the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. I did it to save my life, but I later found that what I had saved was not only my biological life; it was everything else that I used to have before this disease sent me spiraling toward destruction. And I am just beginning to learn that. The world has color again, like it did so many years ago. It has promise, it has hope. And more importantly is that I find a lot of that hope in myself. And, the most important thing of all: I feel good about myself, which is something that I never could say before, no matter how skinny I was. That in itself is a miracle.
So, for all those anorexics who are reading this book, this is why you should fight. To save not only your life but everything else that is locked inside of you. Everything except that which is killing you: a foe by the name of anorexia nervosa. Your disease or yourself--one of them is going to die, and it's up to you which to pick.
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