This week is Eating Disorder Awareness Week. I don’t need an awareness week, I am so painfully, ridiculously, exhaustingly aware of my eating disorder every single day.
You see I was x kg, bmi of x, eating x calories a day doing x amount of exercise a day. And what is x? Well it doesn’t matter. Not a single one of those numbers has to be low or high for me to justify my diagnosis. My suffering is not quantified, summed up or lessened by those numbers.
I may not need this week to remind myself of the seriousness of eating disorders, but so many others do need this week of awareness, of myth busting, of open conversations. So many others for so many different reasons. For some, they need educating, eye and mind opening. For some, such as those with eating disorders other than anorexia, for those from the BAME communities, for men and non binary people, for those who don’t fit the stereotypes, they need representing, an opportunity to have their voices heard, their stories shared, their pain acknowledged. It is such an important time to not only talk about eating disorders but to listen to those whose stories so often go unheard (and those whose stories are).
I’ve found this week quite overwhelming in terms of the coverage of eating disorders, the constant barrage, but I realise the need. It’s okay however to switch off from these things if you need to. Your experiences are valid whether they are shared or not, or whether they are represented in mainstream media. Your experiences are valid and important, your strength clear and your struggles real.
Sending love, light and joy,