Anorexia Not Nervosa: A Semi Rant

an·o·rex·i·a [an-uh-rek-see-uh]
1. loss of appetite and inability to eat.

anorex·ia ner·vo·sa [nur-voh-suh]
an eating disorder primarily affecting adolescent girls and young women, characterized by pathological fear of becoming fat, distorted body image, excessive dieting, and emaciation.

I don’t think people get it, I really don’t. Mention of anorexia brings up comments like “but you don’t look that skinny” or “you just want attention.” I say I’ve only eaten once all day and the only thoughts people can seem to muster have to do with weight lose rather than the fact that my health is in serious jeopardy. That, or they thrust a granola bar at me and think that’s the answer to all life’s problems so I should just eat it and be quiet. Sorry, it doesn’t work that way.

Why is it so hard for people to figure out that one is a general symptom and one is an eating disorder? Just because we have become so lazy that we can’t be bothered to say the whole disorder does not change the meaning of the word that we do say! Not to mention that anorexia nervosa sufferers do NOT suffer from anorexia (choosing not to eat is not the same thing as having a low appetite or being unable to eat).

So, lets have a small lesson shall we? No including today since it’s not over, I’ve had 8 meals in 6 days – and I don’t mean regular sized meals, I mean small portions. 8 meals in 6 days is ridiculously unhealthy. Consider, for a moment, that three meals a day (which is already seen as too few) would be 18 meals in 6 days. Do I really need to point out the rather large difference there? Apparently so. And it’s certainly not as simple as just eating more. Forcing yourself to eat is unhealthy just the same as overeating can kill you if you eat too much after you’ve eaten very little over a long period of time.

The part that bugs me the most though, the part that I just don’t get at all, is how people continue to NOT think about how eating once a day affects your health. I know some monks only eat once a day but that is an exception, not the norm. I certainly cannot function that way and my body sure as hell lets me know even it it completely fails when it comes to hungry signals. When my stomach starts growling is when I’m in trouble. Along with so much more, it’s a bad headache that aspirin doesn’t fix. It’s being so tired but not being able to sleep. It’s wanting so badly to work but you just can’t muster the focus or even the understanding needed. It’s taking handfuls of vitamins just so your body can do the very basic functions. It’s when your skin is so dry it cracks but you can’t stop salivating. It’s a cold sweat but your freezing. It’s when you’re too afraid to get up because you feel, in that moment, that you may faint if you do…

People look at me and don’t see a stick thin figure so they assume everything is normal even though my body is starving for nutrients. Thankfully, this doesn’t always affect me, but when it does I try to avoid people – not because I feel I may be stigmatized or something- but because I feel most of them are too stupid to understand.


This has been annoying me the past week, the anorexia and the people, so I just thought I would write it out in the hopes of freeing up some space on my mental hard drive. Thankfully, the anorexia seems to be breaking so I hope I will be able to finish up some projects like I wanted to do before it started! Off I go!

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