This week news spread of the death of Isabelle Caro. Isabelle was a very sick anorexic woman who died of complications from her disease. Caro became famous for posing nude in Italian ads, in hopes that she could help other anorexics as well as discourage the fashion industry from promoting super-thin models in their ads.
This disease is tragic. Isabelle's death is tragic. There is no argument there. But, when the media jumps on stories like these and we are shocked of images like hers, I feel a little bit of dread inside me. Dread that people that see these images, and think that is the face of a typical eating disorder. And that just isn't true.
Isabelle's case was extreme. The pictures of her are shocking and what worries me, is that someone who sees that who is sick with an eating disorder thinks, “I'm not that sick.” or “I'm not even close to being that thin. I must be okay.” or, the worst, “I don't look like her, so I'm not sick enough.”
EDNOS is something I've blogged about before. New research says that mortality rates for EDNOS are greater than anorexia and bulimia. But, this isn't a post where I site all kinds of stats and you get bored.
You guys. Women are dying (men too) from EDNOS. From chronic dieting. From the hell they put their bodies through. When they're in it so deep, there might be no light at the end of the tunnel, but if there is, and you see it, please grab on. And run.
I remember a time when I could look at a plate of food and the first thing I did was calculate how many calories were there. It took me maybe 3 or 4 seconds. And the next thoughts were how much exercising I had to do to get rid of it. And when I would fit it in to my schedule. Any pictures I saw of myself immediately I scanned all my body parts. What looked fat, what looked skinny, if I hated the picture or not. If I hated myself or not. Deeper and deeper I sunk. Confused as to why I was so lost. I was on my own roller coaster for years and I just wanted to stop so I could breathe.
And one day I had just had enough.
I don't remember that exact day, I think it was shortly after another disastrous relationship ended and instead of blaming other people for my misery, I had to realize I was responsible for my own life. And I was terrified of it. But, I knew there was better things than the shit I had put myself through. And I was right.
Recovery for me might have been easier than the next girl, or it might have been harder, I don't know. It's different for everyone. But, please, I beg you, if you are someone who obsesses on your weight, diets chronically, exercises obsessively, please look into EDNOS. There is so much more to life than your size, calories, and a number on the scale.
Eating disorders are still the most misunderstood mental illness there is. If you or someone you know is suffering, please get help.