February 9 was the last day of National Eating Disorder Awareness Week. This year’s slogan, “Everyone knows someone” is a fantastic one, as upwards of 20 million Americans and 3 million Canadians suffer from eating disorders. 9 out of 10 are women.
As someone who has suffered, and is still fighting, I know just how serious, debilitating, and consuming an eating disorder can be. It is not, contrary to public belief, just being “really good at dieting”. It isn’t “just a phase”, and it won’t be fixed by “just eating a burger”. It can’t be cured with a pill or a shot, and it won’t disappear like a rash.
If you are suffering, or know someone suffering, do some research and get in touch with a professional. The most dangerous thing for an eating disorder is silence. Do not ignore it; as awful as it is to say, I promise it will not just go away. Tell a friend, a parent, an aunt, a teacher, your doctor– whoever you trust. It will be the best choice you’ve ever made. You’ll get your life back.