Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, Compulsive Exercise and Binge Eating are all very debilitating and isolating illnesses. The individual simply withdraws – all of their focus and energy is directed into restricting their food intake, counting calories, exercising, binge eating and purging. We can gather, therefore, that the illness becomes the individuals obsession – there is nothing else that holds greater importance for them than continual weight loss – and the achievement that holds for them.
The anorexic life is all about sacrifice. Withdraw from friends and family. Repress the gnawing hunger in your stomach. Ignore the headaches, ignore the aching muscles. Pretend you don’t feel faint. Suck your stomach in. Keep going about your day as if everything is all well and good. Forget sleeping – it won’t happen. The anoretic walks around in a perpetual daze, denying themself of everything – emotions, food – basic essentials of life.
So the need I want to discuss with you today that the anoretic deprives themself of (without fail) is their circle of friends. As in, things become awkward when the anoretic’s friends realise that she isn’t eating and she’s losing weight and she’s doing a hell of a lot of exercise – and there’s nothing that they can say or do that would stop her. So the friends withdraw – not because they don’t have a desire to help, but because they feel completely helpless.
I missed many of my friends 18ths – it’s not that I didn’t want to be there, it’s just that at that time it was more important for me to go to the gym – the anxiety and consequences attributed with not going were far too great to even give the parties consideration. I didn’t see my friends all Summer – and this affected our friendships greatly.
Here they are! – my beautiful friends who despite my oddness around food and my constant fretting and many missed events are still my friends and still love and care for me despite the huge brick wall I put up between us.
This is mostly a public announcement to say this: Thank you guys so much – thanks for giving me space to recover. And I can’t wait until you’re all back in the country and things are back to normal and we got on with our lives. I suspect it will be rather fantastic.