woman dancing in the rain with blue umbrella and blue pants

My vent/soapbox speech on Eating Disorders

Okay, here’s my vent/soapbox speech.

We had a good friend pass away. From her eating disorder. I log into Facebook, and all my newsfeed is about this. Yes, it is sad. Yes, it is heartbreaking. Yes, it is unfair. Yes, it is disturbing.

But… and, here it is…

39 years, basically, I have been dealing with some kind of eating disorder. Or, disordered eating. Doesn’t really matter how I, nor anyone else refers to it. It is painful. It is agonizing. It takes away from you, and your life. It strips away the very existence you were supposed to be having. It rips away careers, families, friendships, relationships, and financial stability.
Every. Single. Day…

It destroys you, and those you love, and who love you. It is not a choice. It is not a statement. It is not who we are. It is not who we become. It is especially important that we find some sort of recovery.

Recovery can mean anything. It is different for everyone. It is essential to life. It keeps us from becoming so entwined within our flaws, and imperfections, that it can save us from ourselves.

Now, I have a friend, who is more than just a friend. A human that I call family. She pointed something out to me the other evening…

Who gives a flying F if you gain weight? Who cares if other humans make comments about your body?

And, that has been spinning in my brain ever since. And, you know what? She is right! My whole life has been dedicated to restricting, losing weight, disappearing, losing myself, exercising, trying so damn hard to live up to society’s nastiness. Trying so desperately to be something and someone I’m not. Trying to please everyone else. Trying to destroy myself. And, I’ve almost lost myself… sooo many times.

I took myself, my life, my family, my friends, my stability, my everything for granted, never opening my eyes to see myself the way others see me.

I’m not in full recovery; it will be a very long time before I am. However, I am more than just “trying”. I find myself doing. I am doing recovery. I am not perfect, I have my flaws, I have my bad days, bad body images, (we ALL do!!!), my moments of hesitation, my fears, my thoughts, my imperfect life… some days I have to rest all day, other days I’m full of vim and vinegar…

You know what else I have thought???

My friends, my children, my sanity (although questionable at certain times),

I have hope,

a genuine smile and laugh;

I can enjoy the sun,

the wind, the breeze across my skin.

I can enjoy children, and appreciate their mischief,

and my friend’s hearts of gold,

I can smell the flowers,

and dance in the rain.

I can catch lightning bugs, and pick up baby deer.

I can run, and jump, and dance, and swim, and ride a bike,

I can play, and act goofy, and make fried Oreos and eat them,

I can enjoy a burger, and fried chicken,

I know when to stop, and let my body heal and rest…

But, most importantly, I’m no longer dying…

I’m far from full recovery, I’m far from being perfect, and, I’m far from where I want to be… but, I am also far from where I once was.

Point blank my humans… we lose a lot in our eating disorders. And, it is okay to morn those we lose. It is okay to be upset, and hurt, and scared, and sad, and angry…

I however, I am no longer a statistic… my question to you is this…

Will you become one???

Use this time to set yourself free.

To become.

To live.

To love.

To hope.

You are worth it. Aren’t we all?

– Irene April, Survivor



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