1. It’s not about you. I honestly couldn’t care less if you have fatter thighs or have never set foot in a gym. That doesn’t have any effect on how I see myself.
2. Don’t just tell me to eat because it’s not like that. If you force me to eat then I will just feel worse. Maybe eating stops the affect but you can’t stop the thoughts and they’re the problem.
3. Sometimes it’s not about what I’m eating. Sometimes I just won’t act upon the words that are swimming around in my head. Maybe I look fine today, I will eat every meal and nobody will notice. That doesn’t mean it’s gone. That doesn’t mean I’m fine.
4. Sometimes you can’t tell. I could be slightly overweight, I could be your best friend, I could eat a huge amount. You don’t know what’s going on in my head; you don’t know that I have to throw up to feel okay. If I don’t want you to know, it’s likely that you don’t know. The entire point is that you don’t notice.
5. If I trust you enough to tell you, that doesn’t mean I’m asking for you to stop me. I probably just needed someone to talk to, don’t tell me just to eat and don’t look at me like I’m mentally unstable. I’m okay; I just needed it off my chest.
6. Feel free to tell me I’m pretty or thin or beautiful, but don’t expect it to suddenly change the way I see myself.
7. Social situations are hard. Literally everything seems to involve food. Please don’t ask me to go to dinner with you, or lunch, even having a coffee is stressful.
8. Oh, you understand? Skipping lunch a couple of times in high school, only to get hungry and eat a whole chocolate bar, is not the same thing. It’s in your head; it’s mental, not physical.
9. Just because I have these problems doesn’t mean I would ever want anyone else to do this to themselves. I know how hard it is to live with, and I know it’s probably not good. I would never want anyone to have to deal with this.
10. I’m not always unhappy. I have good bays and bad days, just like everybody else. I may look happy and perfect to you but feel horrible inside. I can still enjoy things; a day out, a good book, an exceptional coffee. Granted, this is part of me, but it is not me. I am not defined by it.