When people think of bulimics, they don’t think of people.
They think of pale, blond nymphs surrounded by cakes and pastries, smiling with red, soulless eyes. They think of monsters stuffing food into their mouth with wild abandon. They think of hideous creatures that stink of vomit. Of things with yellow teeth and wild hair.
I believe that if I told someone I wasn’t extremely close to that I was bulimic, all they would think of when they see me is throwing up.
Calling yourself a bulimic takes away your identity. It reduces you to your worst, and it makes you into that creature you imagine everyone thinks you are.
There are times when I feel like a bulimic- my life is reduced to a sum of calories, binges and purges that define my personality and my beliefs. And then there are times where I feel so free and normal that it’s hard to believe I have an eating disorder at all.
Sometimes after a purge I can just go right back into my day without a care in the world and forget about what I’ve just done.
Everyone with an eating disorder is proof that people are more than their illnesses, but I feel like people still use them as defining characteristics. I just hate to think that the Emily people know- the one that loves dancing, singing, music, laughing, and writing could be crushed by something that most of the time doesn’t even define me.
I don’t want to have bulimia anymore. Why can’t I stop defining myself as a bulimic?