This is never an easy topic to discuss. The word anorexia might sound harmless to some but it is in fact a mental illness. As someone that has suffered from anorexia, I can tell you that it has a large part to do with the mindset of that individual.
Personally, I was bullied by family members and classmates based on my weight. At the time I did not even care about my weight, in fact, I never even thought about it. However, one moment after a rude comment, it began to matter and my feelings began to hurt. Next thing I knew I was barely eating.
Shortly after that, I was working out for about 5-7 hours after I got home from school and eating less than 200 calories a day. I lost almost 40 pounds in a five and half weeks, down to 99 pounds. I was always tired, always upset and those around me such as my parents had to deal with that, which was not easy for them. On top of that, I was in so much pain, my body, my brain and my stomach were in never ending pain. People do not really seem to realize that about those going through anorexia but it is excruciatingly painful to go through. My body felt like it was bruised all over as my muscles were deteriorating, I had what felt like a constant headache and my stomach always felt like something was twisting my insides. As I was deep in my state of anorexia, I began to just sleep all the time as my body was too weak to really do anything else.
Although I was skinny to others, to myself, I still looked at myself as large. It is kind of like a mind trick, like those funky mirrors inside of a fun house. Everyone may see someone as thin but that person might see themselves completely different. It can be hard to try to understand that person. You think “Why not just eat? Or How are you so blind to see how thin you are?”. Even though it can be hard, keep trying with them, eventually everyone has a breaking point.
The reason I was able to break from this mindset of anorexia was a discussion I has with my father. I sat down with him and he said "It is getting to the point where we may take you to the hospital as you are ill. You will be detained and probably be on meds so you cannot drive, participate in sports, we will have to keep an eye on you so probably no sleepovers."
In that moment it hit me, I was that ill my parents wanted to take me to the hospital and on top of that, as a teenager, I was about to lose all my freedom. That day I went out to the store, bought a box of cookies and ate the entire box in front my dad. Afterwards, I was eating again. However, time to time I would get stuck in a rut again and my family and friends would comfort me and say I am beautiful and that I am being silly and it helped. Still to this day I get stuck in certain mindsets either about eating too much or about how I look. It never really goes away, not forever and I am lucky to have those in my life that have been patient with me throughout these stages.
Be kind to those around you, you never know what they are going through, what they have been through, or what they might do if you mistreat them.