Introduction: Eating Disorders Recovery Users Manual
(The following is the introduction to a short book I am writing about eating disorders. I am planning this mostly as a how-to book.)
This book is written by a real suffer of an eating disorder. I am not a clinician who has only read textbooks and claims to understand eating disorders. It is not written by a parent of a person with ED, nor by a person with “empathy” but who has never experienced it herself.
I suffered with an eating disorder from 1980 until 2014. I suffered with both anorexia to start, and then, binge eating, sometimes both simultaneously over the years. Now that I have had the opportunity to compare with other sufferers I realize that the quantity of food involved in each single binge for me was enormous, medically dangerous, and should have been concerning to my providers. Occasionally I consumed nonfood items, uncooked food, or food that was rotting. Not only that, I did not vomit, ever, although I tried. I knew what I was doing then put me at medical risk but I had given up hope anyone would care.
For decades, I tried to get help. For the most part, the medical community never took me seriously. I was told I was “faking it,” told it was “impossible,” and all sorts of other things that I am sure you yourself have heard if you’ve ever tried going to these fools.
I am writing this book to share the information I learned along the way because I believe it might help other people. I could not be writing it without you, dear fellow sufferers. For decades that I lived a very marginalized and impoverished life, I met many fellow sufferers of eating disorders. I have seen many things inside the walls of the institutions where we were held together. We have shared many stories, shed tears, argued, and laughed. Although I regret, in some ways, living for decades as “dis-abled” when it wasn’t really necessary, I also cherish the memories, ironic as it seems. If it weren’t for you, dear fellow inmates, I could not be writing this book.