Mature Women Have Eating Disorders: NBC almost gets it right
- Category: Introduction
NBC Today Show did a big feature on the "news" of the rise in mature women who suffer from eating disorders. At last millions of ignored women struggling in secret and alone as they cope with as best they can with jobs, families, relationships and education challenges are coming into view. NBC TODAY delivers excellent but flawed information. See two of the missing issues below.
1. NBC focuses on starvation rather than the full gamut of eating disorder issues. But, it’s a beginning.
2. It also focuses on the tragedy of living with an eating disorder. It leaves out the fire of courage, determination and passion these women use to fulfill their life responsibilities.
You know who you are. You pack school lunches when peanut butter triggers you. You are as social as you can be with your husband and need to stroll to a bathroom with polite words so you can throw up and return as if everything were fine.
You do your best at work with drawers full of candy, cookies and crackers to help you get through the day.
You fight to keep your attention focused in a classroom where you are going for a degree or taking a course that will advance your career. But your awareness blips out, and you obsess about food or a long run on the treadmill. Sometimes you have to leave the class to act out. Sometimes you can't get to class because you are acting out.
Yet you keep showing up. When you can’t, when your energy fails you, when your anxiety overwhelms you, you feel ashamed and disgusted with yourself. You feel afraid. You condemn yourself because you couldn’t behave “like a normal person.” To you, that means, “like a good person,” or “like a worthwhile person.”
You keep these fears a secret. You have no idea of the courage and caring you are putting into your life and your loved ones because you fall short of a standard that no one with an eating disorder could possibly meet.
When you look for help, when you cruise the internet for support, you meet valuable and worthwhile sites that are focused on teenagers and young celebrities. Those conversations and suggestions don’t relate to your experience or your life.
Maybe now, with the beginnings of real information coming out about real women you can be more kind to yourself and find your way to real recovery.
book: Healing Your Hungry Heart: recovering from your eating disorder. Written for adult women.