The Honest Truth About Eating Disorders?

I’ll say it straight up: You may not like what you are about to see. It is confronting. And if you have had an eating disorder or do have one, I would, in fact, advise you not to watch the video.

When I watched it, it brought back memories of what I saw when I checked myself  into a clinic at age 18. I had a fairly moderate eating disorder in terms of duration and expression in comparison to a lot of girls, women, boys and men I met there. The lengths they went to to express their feelings by punishing their bodies were horrific. The denial perhaps even more so. I’m not sure I could’ve ever put my body through what they were doing at times. I would have rather ceased to be than starve myself to truly skeletal size, eat cottonwooll or mutilate my own body. Those are desperate cries for help.

The reason I am putting this video up today is that I’m not sure anyone who hasn’t had an addiction can really comprehend how twisted and warped your perception of reality can become when you are in the throes of it. It’s an out-of-body experience and a violation of your own humanity.

This video shows what an eating disorder can truly be like and the impact it has without sensationalising too much or judging. Apart from the very intro, I thought it was an open and honest account that deals with the issue well and could be a great resource to educate. Of course, it doesn’t show the despair I have witnessed in others, nor the utter helplessness of those that are eventually admitted to hospital and yet are still trying to starve themselves. Those whose pain is so great they choose a slow death by self mutilation via starvation and/ or purging.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cwg563Hcjpk&w=420&h=315]

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  • Thank you for sharing something so controversial Sol. I actually watched this video around 6 months ago and, as you said, it bought me back to such a dark time and hit hard. I don’t think you could put into words quite how badly an eating disorder affects a person but the people in the video do a pretty good job. Unfortunately the healthcare system here isn’t really set up to truly deal with the mental side of the illness which I find infuriating! I received no help – my family and friends saw me through the worst part. I hope that anyone who sees what you’ve written and realises they’re in a sticky situation SPEAKS TO SOMEONE! Someone you trust and someone who will support you through it. Great post xx

    • solwalkling

      Hi Daisy!

      Thank you for your comment!

      It’s pretty shocking how little specialized support there is still for eating disorders. I was lucky when I was a teen that I had a good doctor who referred me to a groundbreaking clinic – back then eating disorders weren’t that widely heard of just yet – and it was the best thing that could’ve happened to me. It must’ve been tough recovering without daily professional support and I’m sure it was tough for your friends and family also.

      I think it’s so important to spread “survival” and “success” stories and to educate the general public on what it is like for teens (and adults) going through it and how to spot signs and help. I will be grateful to my friends who helped me through for the rest of my life. They were like a family to me – even when they must have often just been at a total loss.

      Any addiction removes your humanity and alienates you from those around you to such an extent it can be hard for outsiders to grasp.

      Really lovely to share and hear from you.

      Sol x

      • Hi Sol,

        You’re welcome! That’s great that you received that level of treatment, that restores my faith in the healthcare system slightly :)

        It was very hard going it alone and it broke my parents hearts but we did all pull through. Now I focus my energy on helping other people overcome bad food habits – it’s the most therapeutic job in the world!

        I’m with you on what you said about friends, my best friend has never had any kind of conflict with food so for her to support me through it was astounding as I couldn’t put into words how it felt and she didn’t understand either – that’s unconditional love aha!

        Contrary to what the doctors say, I’ve found that following a very healthy eating plan actually works better than their idea of ‘pick something from your naughty list and eat one EVERY day’ which personally sounds like a recipe for disaster to someone who is potentially still self-sabotaging. Just my two cents!

        Daisy x

        • solwalkling

          Well, I may have been lucky.

          I do think it’s commendable for anyone who stands by someone with an addiction. It takes unconditional love to be able to do that. And a very tough skin.

          I know I had to watch my eating for years and I basically just preferred giving into whatever happened over even just entertaining controlling or watching what I ate. In the process I preferred being bigger than I had ever been. I’d rather eat too much and let myself get used to not caring about my size than give into any thoughts about weight, size or food intake. I did that for years. I also didn’t dare pursue anything too extreme or to do anything I loved – including sports – on a regular basis every week. I kept checking back that I was not getting into any extreme state of mind, basically. I loved running but would have never allowed myself to run every day. Just to make sure I was in control. Took me a long time before I trusted that I had nixed all those underlying emotions and reasons to beat myself up and develop the eating disorder in the first place.

          It’s only in the last few years that I allowed myself to do things to the extreme if it feels fun. (Like triathlons.) And I’m still at times apprehensive but I think it’s essentially in my nature. I love living live passionately and wholeheartedly.

          I hope you’ll soon get to a point of not even worrying about your food AT ALL – treats or healthy or excessive or minimal! I truly no longer do in a bad way. Was pretty liberating when that happened. Get to the root of where it all started from, heal it and you’ll be a-okay. xxxxxxxxxxxxx

  • Thank you lovely, I’m getting there but accept I’ve still got a long way to go. I couldn’t cope with completely letting go and found life a little easier with SOME exercised control, but I guess it’s going to be different with each individual.

    I hope to feel as liberated as you one day too :) there is hope! Xxx