At the height of my anorexia, no one asked me whether I was okay. I’m far more approachable with a fractured ankle. It’s been quite a talking point.
The contrast is striking.
People are scared of anorexia. They tiptoe on eggshells around it. People don’t want to say the wrong thing. They don’t want to aggravate it. They don’t want to be implicated in it, maybe.
I completely understand. I didn’t want to talk about it either.
And therein lies the problem: we’re all concurring with it. It’s privileged, permitted to run riot, tacitly prioritied – because no one wants to speak about it. No one knows what to say.
The silence is deafening.
Anorexia is the great big elephant in the room.
I can’t imagine what it was like for those living around me. Whether they talked about it amongst themselves. Whether, tactfully, they agreed not to rock the boat; to kindly wait until the right occasion arose. Whether the eggshells were painful; whether it was tiring to be constantly watching where you placed your feet.
All of the above? Or maybe none?
And for me? Maybe it made the deceit and the denial a little easier at first; but I think I kind of saw the elephant too. I kind of knew that it was there. I kind of played along with the whole facade….
Until, one by one, my accomplices dropped out.
And until I started talking about it all.