Today I got an email titled ‘Skip a meal with us today.’
It was about a hunger protest to raise awareness about world hunger but the title stuck with me.
It made me think of my wonderful friend’s blog
Being around my parents is putting up with emotional death by a thousand cuts. I’m up at 3am stewing on all the ways I hurt myself for the sake of giving my parents a pleasant weekend…
and everything out of [my mother’s] mouth is about how she’s fat, and she’s going to stop eating tomorrow, and she wishes she had my discipline, to just stop eating. And I’ve told her before that it is very triggering and painful for me to hear her talk about food and bodies that way but she got upset and was like, “I don’t mind when you talk about it,” but like Jesus mom does it not alarm you when I talk about eating 400 calories a day?
STOP TALKING TO ME ABOUT HOW YOU HATE YOUR BODY AND STOP TALKING ABOUT DIETING PLEASE UNDERSTAND THAT EVEN THOUGH I AM FAT I DO HAVE AN EATING DISORDER AND YOU MAKE IT WORSE EVERY TIME YOU OPEN YOUR FACE AND IT IS SERIOUS AND IT ACTUALLY DOES MATTER EVEN THOUGH YOU THINK IT DOESN’T. [x]
And this writer for XOJane (my latest obsession) who is in her fourth year of actively trying not to make herself puke every day.
I bet you thought this food stuff would be fixed by now! Me, too, man. It takes up so much time… But of the like 80 million things I’ve learned about recovery, one of them is that actual behavioral change is a) exceedingly rare and b) incredibly slow. At least that’s the line my therapist sells me when I start complaining about how it’s been almost FOUR YEARS since I last took a drink or snorted a line, and yet I’m still fucked up when it comes to sex, finances, food and probably a bunch of other stuff I’m not even recovered enough to be aware of yet…
My freshman year at college a teacher brought in a recovering anorexic to talk to us about how to not fall into anorexia in a competitive environment. What stuck with me from that conversation is how she compared anorexia with her drinking problem.
What I learned that day was that anorexia is in many ways just as much of an addiction as alcoholism is. That it’s not a condition of the body (a failing liver is as much of a long term effect of alcoholism as heart disease is a complication of anorexia) but a mental problem that will shape the rest of your life.
What this actress said was that she could go the rest of her life without walking into a liquor store but she couldn’t go the rest of her life without going into a grocery store. Just like she’ll have to make a choice every time a first date asks her out for drinks or a waitress asks her if she’s fine with water, she’ll have to make an equally difficult choice every time she feels that familiar pain of hunger.
When she’s been 10 years sober she’ll still have to think “I want a beer but I know that seltzer is the right choice” and even when her body is at it’s healthiest weight she’ll still have that niggling voice in the back of her head saying she should skip dinner tonight.
Her weight has nothing to do with that voice. That voice is the pathogen that has worked it’s way into her head and no matter what she eats or looks like she will never be completely rid of it.
And your offhand remarks about muffin top are like challenging a sober alcoholic to a chugging contest. A title like ‘Skip a meal with us today’ can be triggering to someone looking for an excuse not to eat. Skipping a meal doesn’t make you anorexic because anorexia isn’t about what you weigh or how you eat, it’s about how you think.
Be careful out there.