Wednesday 17 October 2012

This is what I used to think in the olden days...

I used to think: Maybe we should watch more news reports about children starving in Africa? Children who would do anything to be able to get food? Or get him involved in Good Deeds like working with the disabled or underprivileged? Maybe that'll make him realise that some people have more to worry about in life than whether or not they might have put on a nano-kilogram and - pow! - their life suddenly isn't worth living.

That's what I used to think in the olden days, at any rate.

I used to think that eating disorders were selfish - that the young person with anorexia or bulimia was vane... over-obsessed with their appearance. Good God, let's watch some TV programmes about people with disfigurements or terminal illnesses. That'll stop them thinking about themselves all the time and make them see sense.

Selfish boy (or girl)... Can't he / she see what they're doing to us, his / her parents? Let's break down in floods of tears in front of them. Surely that'll make them realise what they're doing?

That's what I used to think.

Look at all the terrible things that depriving your body of healthy, life-giving food can do! The way your internal organs suffer... the way your skeleton can take on the bone density of someone decades older! Listen to this as I read aloud to you about all the horrible things you could be doing to your body. You say you're "eating healthily", but - hey - look what you're really doing to yourself! That'll make them see sense and knock this on the head.

Yes, that's the sort of thing I used to think.

"That's the trouble with him," my H would say (and still does occasionally). "He's had everything handed to him on a plate. A private education. Material goods. A loving, supportive family environment. Things many other young people would give their right arm for. He's selfish. What he needs is a good firm kick up the ar*e."

Ah, if only eating disorders were that easy to resolve...

1 comment:

  1. When I was in the thick of my eating disorder my Mum called me selfish and it stung so much. I hated the thought that other people were thinking I wanted to be this way that I was being "self-indulgent" and attention seeking. Luckily my Mum,like you, later realized otherwise but sadly I think that is a widely-held belief about eating-disorders.