The Truth About Eating Disorders: Why We Need to Stop Romanticizing The Anorexic

I knew a girl.

Pale. Delicate. Skinny. There’s something so romantic about her. Something that needs to be protected. She draws you in. Beautiful and broken and lost. She has those big, nervous eyes. She’s made of glass. Every word breaks her. And she bleeds. She bleeds all the time, but you wouldn’t know. Because the outside is always perfect. Day after day, she’s striving for perfection. You think you know that girl: the Anorexic.

Only you don’t know her. I’m sure of it. Because I was that girl.

They don’t tell you the whole story. All you see is that beautiful fragile girl with the needy eyes and nervous smile. All you see is someone with lots of motivation. Good grades. Perfect make-up.

They don’t tell you about the nights where they can’t sleep because of the hunger, and they go downstairs in a haze to binge on food. You don’t know about the purge that comes afterwards: the vomit mixed with blood. The kilometers on the treadmill that are never enough to get rid of it all.

They don’t tell you about the mornings that they contemplate going to class. Not sure if they have enough energy. Not sure if people will notice that they lost even more weight. But at the same time hoping that they will.

”Soon, I’ll be thinner than all of you, she swore to herself. And then I’ll be the winner. The thinner is the winner.” – Steven Levenkron

They don’t tell you about the bizarre heart palpitations that seem to come out of nowhere. Where it feels like your heart is going to break your ribs, or where it feels like your heart can stop at any moment. They don’t tell you about the insomnia. The sleepless nights where you lay awake, feeling like you’re covered in fat.

They don’t tell you about how stupid you feel when you look back on the fights you had with your parents and your friends and how little sense it all made. They don’t tell you about the journal entries with words that barely make sentences, because their starved brain could not comprehend it anymore.

Eating disorders are not romantic. Anorexia is empty. It has so substance. No control. There is no deeper fulfilment hidden behind the restriction. The anorexic girl lives in your head, and you desperately try to be her. But you’re not a beautifully broken girl. You’re mentally ill. And there is nothing romantic about that.

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