A student did her presentation on self-policing and said how eating disorders and diets (and she used the words interchangeably, as though they were the same) come from society’s pressure to be thin.
I couldn’t. I spoke up.
At the end we were allowed to make comments so I sat there and explained to my class that eating disorders are not diets but mental illnesses. I told them that I’m in recovery from anorexia.
And for a solid ten minutes they asked me questions about eating disorders and I did my best to explain the truth and reality of it all. I didn’t mind. I was happy they were so receptive about it all. One girl said, “I had no idea that it was so much deeper. Thank you for sharing your story. Knowledge is power.”
I was hugged by my professor. And I was thanked by others for sharing my story.
And later, I met a friend for coffee. And I told them I’m in recovery and I explained to them the same thing. And you know what they said? “I had no idea it was such a mental and emotional thing. I didn’t realize it went so deep.”
THIS is why I am finding the courage to post on the purple project. This is why I have pushed aside my fears and ego and shame. I have to help people understand the truth about eating disorders. If I don’t speak up, how can I expect any change in society’s beliefs and myths surrounding these disorders?“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” - Barack Obama