NEDA – Spread Awareness

“Quite frankly, my dear, no one has anorexia anymore. Everyone is just fat nowadays!”

This was said to me by a guest ballet teacher this morning as we were discussing what to do with a student who has developed ED.

“Is she bulimic?” a colleague asked.

“I don’t think so, although I did check her knuckles at the barre,” I responded.

“Why would you do that?” asked the guest teacher.

I looked at incredulously. “Don’t you know what signs to look for when you suspect an eating disorder?”

And that is when she deigned to tell me that no one has anorexia anymore, they are all just fat nowadays (while we are sitting in a ballet school and we are discussing students with ED).

Sadly, no one acknowledges eating disorders unless they see a walking skeleton. The only way they can identify them is with a stereotype. I feel like there is no recognition of the myriad faces of ED from the normal weight, over weight, under weight and everything in between. Of course, none of the faculty in my office know that I am currently puking several times a day and eating laxatives as if they were smarties. I know that NEDA is almost at an end but I hope that the awareness continues to spread because with this kind of ignorance being displayed by people who should know better, too many people are doomed to suffer unnoticed.

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12 thoughts on “NEDA – Spread Awareness

  1. That’s ridiculous. I don’t even know how to respond to that.

    • Also, I have never once had bulimia knuckles. I refused to put my hand down my throat, that’s disgusting. I used an object that I kept with me at all times. So while it’s definitely something to look out for, the absence doesn’t mean the absence of purging, which many don’t seem to realize.

    • Hmm, yes, I did just say that sticking my hand in my mouth is disgusting while in the same breath admitting to making myself vomit….

  2. Greta says:

    So true!!
    I’ve hidden my disorder for 15 years!! Even purging, I never used fingers or other subjects. And when I finally quit my job for a fashion magazine and told the truth to my bosses – they were like “we all do that!!!” That’s NORMAL. So I’m still clueless?? If EDs are normal, than what isn’t??

  3. People say whatever they need to say in order to not have to think seriously about issues that are serious. These trite, simple write-off statements allow that person to disregard the issue and pretend it doesn’t exist. Sadly, it’s about as effective at addressing the problem as someone covering their eyes in the face of an oncoming train.

  4. musingsfortheether says:

    No one in my life when I was in the “active” phase of my disorder ever had a damn clue either. I was never a skeleton, so no one knew. Most people who are close to me still don’t know, and the ones who do, don’t really understand how bad it was and what an impact it has had and continues to have on my life. I’m grateful you are talking about awareness, even if it’s with these nit wits!

    • “Most people who are close to me still don’t know, and the ones who do, don’t really understand how bad it was and what an impact it has had and continues to have on my life.”
      Exactly, thank you! My family “knows” about my bulimia. It’s hard to hide when you’re in and out of treatment. But none of them seem to get it or what it was and is like for me or why I hate when they make certain comments. And I definitely don’t think they understand how serious it was or how much it consumed my life.

      • musingsfortheether says:

        Yea, you know, it’s really crazy because when you’re in the middle of it, you feel like you wear it like a tattoo or neon sign. How can others NOT see or sense our turmoil? The unfortunate reality though is that what most of us with ED have mastered is compartmentalization so we can still show up to school/work, fulfill obligations, pay bills ,etc. all while feeling dead or empty on the inside. I have observed something really interesting though now in my recovering phase: people may not have really been able to sense when you were troubled, but once the fog lifts a little bit, they can sense that. They can sense that something has shifted and I have had a couple of close friends say that it wasn’t until I started to make some progress that they realized how much I was struggling. Just interesting.

  5. sortaginger says:

    Well put. I have been bulimic for so long I learned how to hide the obvious signs. And of course I am overweight, so nobody would ever suspect it. Or, sad to say, some would never believe it if I told them any way.

  6. It’s strange how some people pick up on things and others don’t. EDs are so secret and private that it’s easy to hide, you even find yourself doing bizarre things for the sake of keeping it secret. For me I hide it because I am ashamed or embarrassed, but also, unfortunately because I don’t want anyone to interfere.

  7. musingsfortheether says:

    I nominated you for the Liebster Blog Award. Check out my blog for details and if you want to participate!

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