Don’t have any snapshots this time to look at, I once again will have you visualize with your mind.
Do you see the little girl running in the yard catching lightning bugs as she laughs with glee? Do you see her holding up a huge bullfrog as she beams proudly?
Do you hear her happy chatter as she tells you every detail of the book she is reading?
Wait, now what do you see? What happened to the little girl who once was so full of glee?
She is sitting looking lost and confused. She is hurting and doesn’t know what to do.Her emotions are swirling all around and have brought her down.
Do you see the precious girl, she is a little too thin, and when she smiles it doesn’t reach her beautiful eyes. Do you see the tears that run down her cheeks and how she can’t speak?
I know, this isn’t exactly a cheerful way to start off your week. I have debated whether I was going to write about this subject, and I feel I will follow my heart.
Anorexia is a real disorder and too many people have been affected by it! No, not me personally, but I have learned more about it and feel that it needs brought to peoples attention. Anorexia is not just a diet that goes too far, its not about striving so hard to be thin. It goes deeper than that. The person starts little by little and likes the control that they feel they have, but ED (eating disorder) is just baiting them til they have them captured in the net. The net that keeps them from a normal life. It tangles their mind and has their mind so consumed by food, that its the only thing they can think about. What will the next meal be and how many calories? The net pulls them away from social activities for there is food and they are not good enough for food. The net pulls them away from physical activity, for ED has robbed them of their strength. They used to push themselves physically to burn those calories, but can’t anymore, so now the calories have to get less to make up for lack of exercise. They want to break free of the net and be on their own, but at the same time they are afraid to let go of something that has ruled them. Imagine sitting at a light and the light is green, but your mind sees it as red. How hard would it be for you to tell yourself to go through it? That’s the battle the that someone with a eating disorder deals with. Yes, logically the light is green, logically they should eat food, their body needs it! BUT ED is the illogical part that speaks louder and tells them that the light is red and not to dare put that muffin in your mouth! That they are SO BAD if they do.
Do you see that girl again? She has grown some and the light is coming back in her eyes? Her smiles are becoming more frequent and the laughter is ringing again. She is learning the joy of food again and that she does deserve it and that she is worthy of having a good life! Did you see her run down the street with her dog? Did you see her throw her hands up high as the rollercoaster sped down the hill? Fun is becoming not so foreign anymore.
Do you know that girl or guy? Do you see someone just nibbling at their food? See them counting calories to the extreme or exercising til they are totally beat? Do you have some fears as you see the baggy clothes they may try to hide in or hear one more excuse as to why they can’t go out tonight? Do they look like they have everything going for them and seem to have it all together? Don’t be fooled. Eating disorders can wear many masks. Please don’t ignore! Don’t turn a blind eye! Will the person appreciate you confronting them? Probably not! But to paraphrase a friend I will say this. You can hold them close to you and try to deny that they are getting skinnier or deny the pudgy cheeks and raw fingers and knuckles that you see from purging. You can tell yourself that they will get better on their own; but more often than not they need professional help. It’s not that they don’t have the desire to get better, its that ED is too strong to overcome by yourself. So you have a decision to make. Hold them close and bask in their friendship and love as you watch them slowly fade and their chance of dying get stronger; or let them go and watch them thrive! Let them go risking their anger and causing your heart great pain as you leave them at a rehab, but in the end feel their embrace, see their smile and rest in the knowledge that you did the right thing. There are times in our lives when the most painful thing is the most right thing to do.
Please if this helped raise awareness for you, pass it on. Too many people are afflicted and there is not enough rehabs around. Families have to travel great distances to get the help they desire for their loved one. We need to provide easier access to rehabs. The need is great and there are not enough places!