I recently asked a friend who is in recovery from anorexia how she feels towards her now inactive but once powerful eating disorder. Squinting past my shoulder into the distance—perhaps into her distant past—she paused in silent reflection. Several moments later, she returned to the here and now, and responded:
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Entries by Annie Robinson
But on that particular afternoon, I was paralyzed by my restrictive habits. The fear wasn’t about the food this time, though—it was about the money. A cone costs twice as much as a cup, which holds an equivalent amount of gelato…
Sylvie based the piece on her personal experience with anorexia, and cleverly integrates her story with the stories of famous women throughout history who have also struggled with the disorder like singer Karen Carpenter and psychoanalyst Anna Freud.
Eating disorders are notoriously challenging to treat, because they are so multi-faceted: they derive from emotional, psychological, physiological, social, and cultural influences.
Little Miss Perfect takes place over the course of Belle’s freshman year, tracking her descent into the grips of anorexia nervosa, the psychiatric disorder that currently holds the highest mortality rate.
Forgiveness is an essential part of recovery because, as Desmond Tutu says, “The only way to experience healing and peace is to forgive. Until we can forgive, we remain locked in our pain and locked out of the possibility of experiencing healing and freedom.”
Recently my friend Kayleigh told me about the greatest turning point in her life: seven years ago, she realized that her fervent mission to live a life of achievement was causing her unhappiness and poor health. “Achievement wasn’t the right intention for me,” she admitted. “So I shifted my intention to living a life of peace.” Intention in recovery is powerful.