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Living While Dying -- Perspectives From A Woman Who Is Eating Disordered

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By Christa / www.divinecaroline.com

As I begin this journey I hope I will be “around” to complete it, although on any given day, I will have to confess that I have no intention and/or desire to.

Maybe you have gone through what I am going through. Perhaps it’s not been you, but someone you love who decided to give this slow suicide a whirl. Or, it could be someone you work with. We are everywhere, yet most of you don’t realize it unless you happen to see one of the “successful” ones rushing around. Then you think, “UGH! Why would someone do that to themselves?”

That is a question that no one is able to give a solid answer to. Or maybe we just don’t want to. We don’t see it as a problem. We see it as always working to reach a new goal. Lower numbers across the board is what we want to see. A bad day—no, let me rephrase that: A RUINED DAY is one which we are all too familiar with. We have more of them than we have days that are NOT ruined. But it’s what we do. It’s what we become and it’s who we are.

My name is Christa and I am a prisoner inside one of the roughest, toughest systems you will ever see.

I am a daughter of Robert and Susan and baby sister to Michael and Leigh. For the last eleven years, I have been blessed by being loved by Matthew. My fourteen-year-old daughter is the most amazing person currently walking the face of this Earth and I am owned by four very spoiled dogs. I have an exceptional career. We live in a beautiful home with a Tahoe in the driveway and a Hummer in the garage.

During a time when many people are struggling to put food on the table, I am donating money to animal shelters, flying to Chicago and New York City on the weekends “just for something to do,” and buying overpriced handbags in which I don’t need and will more than likely, never even carry. People who know me believe I have it all together and why shouldn’t or wouldn’t I? I seem to have it all.

I am thirty-five-years-old. I stand 5'4" and today I weighed 92.7 pounds ...


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Your story is heart-wrenching. You know you are trapped, you know you are a prisoner with your eating disorder, yet you feel powerless -- and not motivated -- to change it.

I am so glad you feel connected, to parents, siblings, husband and your daughter. I might ask, though, how it feels -- on those days when you can't resist your "slow suicide" -- to think of leaving your daughter without a mom earlier than you have to?

I lost my father when I was 26. My sister and brother were 17 and 16. He had smoked, which I guess we could call another "slow suicide." He had quit several years before he died, but not soon enough to detect or beat the cancer that ultimately took his life.

Losing a parent is so difficult, and it resonates with a child for months, years, decades. A person doesn't just get over it -- in fact, as you reach each new stage in life, you miss yet again being able to share that stage in life with the parent who's gone. You miss the sound of their voice, the hugs, the twinkle in their eye, their sense of humor, their forever support. One of your anchors is missing, and you feel unbalanced because of it.

At 35, you are so young. At 14, your daugher is so very, very young. Please consider her on the days when your eating disorder seems out of control. And realize that every day, by your own behavior, you are also teaching her to dislike her own natural body shape. Perfection, when counted in tenths of a pound, can be a very destructive force.

I completely appreciate your frankness and your honesty. I'm sure it's startling to read for those who aren't familiar with what it's like to have an eating disorder. If you would like more information, here's Empowher's eating disorders page, along with lots of q&a's:


And here are a couple of good online resources for anyone who has or who has a loved one dealing with an eating disorder:


March 17, 2009 - 8:21am
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