Anyone you know could have an eating disorder. Your mum, your sister, the girl you used to sit with a school. You may not know but they are fighting a battle, a battle no-0ne knows anything about against themselves.
As a society, we are partly to blame: we are born in a world of strivers. Strive for better, get thinner, get fitter, skip dinner! Some of it is healthy, most of it is well aimed but some of it may kill one of this women. This women who are our mothers, daughters, sisters, friends.
Over the past few years I have seen a few of my close friends struggle with eating disorders. I have seen them isolate, create barriers, feel lonely and stigmatised. I have seen them suffer. And be scared, scared to admit the struggle, to admit that they are not ok.
Yet, for someone who doesn’t know what an eating disorder is like, what does it feel like they may think.. all this girl needs is a few meals. There’s nothing else to it, just bloody eat, for fuck sake!
I’m afraid that it runs a lot deeper than that. A person who chooses to not eat may hate himself or herself. Or, may be scared of not fitting the expectations. Or, just scared of life. But the worst thing is that they won’t talk about it. It is so hard to admit you’re struggling in a society that punishes the weak, that punishes people who say enough is enough and I can’t do this.
As of lately, I have grown closer to someone who is really struggling with coming to terms with her eating and her raging eating disorder. Slowly, relentlessly, she is losing all the things she loves because she is too scared to eat, too scared to go on, too scared to live. I have run out of ideas to help her but I haven’t run out of faith. I believe that she can do better if she wants to, I believe that one day she will find that one thing that will click and will save her life. I want to believe that.
So I encourage all of you to reach out. To try to help those people who could be helped, to lend a helping hand.
My dear baby girl, I am here, I am rooting for you.