March 6, 2012

Ten things you quickly learn not to say if you hang around me

I no longer expect to walk through life unmolested by wrong-headed ideas about eating disorders, so instead I collect the markers of my dissent from the mainstream. Here are things to say to let me know that you and I don't know one another well:

10. She doesn't want to get well.
9. Everyone has a little bit of an eating disorder
8. It's all about having control over something
7. These skinny celebrities make me so mad
6. These parents .... (insert malfeasance of the week)
5. I wish I could have a little bit of anorexia
4. I already know all I need to know about eating disorders
3. If only these kids would understand how beautiful they are
2. My ex is the problem
1. He's an adult

Because:
10. That's a problem, but not hers: yours
9. Does everyone have a little bit of diabetes? MS?
8. What does that even mean?
7. Save the trip to Hollywood: you've got work to do here
6. Yeah, parents suck. All parents. Next question?
5. F*&$ you.
4. Anyone who thinks that really should not be caring for or around anyone with an eating disorder
3. If only we could talk people out of comas
2. You chose your ex, and your fates are inextricably linked, so you both have the problem
1. He's your child for life

9 comments:

  1. Why, Charlotte, what was wrong with the other 8?

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  2. awesome.
    I will give this to many people. Thank you!

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  3. The phrase, "dying to be thin" is on my list and Dr. Oz used it on his program today while he talked about the perils of visiting pro-ana sites and introduced the audience to two women who are caught in the web if an ED. He also introduced the audience to two women who have used pro-ana sites to accomplish weight loss. He also introduced the audience to a man who manages one. Remarkably the guy, who admits and admitted on the show that he does not understand the disease, doesn't think he's causing harm.
    But back to the phrase, "Dying to be thin." No one, absolutely no one, when they set a goal of losing weight, has the intention of dying as a result. And the thing is, therefore they aren't dying to be thin. I hate that phrase.

    On point 10, I do believe it's important to recognize that if a person is legally an adult, then to acknowledge that and approach the disease with that perspective because our society protects adults. There needs to be a way to get through that barrier created to protect adults to reach women and men who have been overcome by this biologically based brain disorder. Yes, a mindset to accept and change is very important. But while their brain chemistry is all screwed up, they aren't going to be able support that mindset without help for awhile.

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  4. THANK YOU!

    In regard to "everyone has a little bit of an eating disorder", I had a rather long quasi-argument about that with someone on my blog the other day. She INSISTED that everyone who has ever doubted his or her body, "thought about" starving, or denied himself or herself food had an "eating disorder" and that for me to distinguish between vague body dissatisfaction and clinical anorexia or bulimia was somehow "unfair", because after all, all of us had "some kind of eating disorder". Really? Wouldn't that be like telling someone missing an arm that you were in just the same situation because you broke a nail once?

    And of course I appreciate the beauty-related comebacks as well. I'm beautiful and I know it, but that never stopped me from developing an eating disorder and it hasn't cured me either. Bone structure and body confidence can't rewire my brain.

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  5. "This just appeared on my facebook page and from the article comes these two paragraphs to reiterate what I wrote above about point # 10:
    At the same time, it became more difficult for doctors to hospitalize patients who needed it or to keep them there long enough to bring about meaningful improvements. Laws designed to safeguard the rights of patients resulted in patients not being able to enjoy the right to be well.

    Toss in the fact that hospitals are attempting to save money not in what they pay to their CEOs but in the service they provide, there is pressure on doctors and other staff to reduce lengths of stay."

    Here's a link to that article: http://www.treatmentadvocacycenter.org/about-us/our-blog/69-no-state/2035-has-our-mental-health-system-gone-mad

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  6. I hate the "someone get that girl a hamburger" statement that shows up on talk shows and gossip rags...

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  7. i hate the "she just had to want to get well". Like she stayed sick on purpose for 3 years, was supplemently tube fed for a year, lost a lot of hair, spent time IP, had no social time with friends, no sports, no activities, lost friends, missed opportunities, etc etc just because she "decided" to be anorexic. No one decides to have an ed.

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  8. I have many days when all I got is Because #5.

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