Eating Disorder Recovery: Reflections from the Boston Bombing
Posted Apr 19 2013 3:43pm
I listened to the President’s speech at the Memorial Service
for the victims of the marathon bombings. And by victims, I mean not just those
who were at the finish line and had personally witnessed the explosions; not
just those who were injured with shrapnel from nails and ‘BBs’, many of whom
lost limbs and their ability to work at their trades. But those of us in the
Boston area, and those of you living further from the scene who have lost a
piece of our hearts through this trauma.
Maybe I spend too much time addressing eating disorders, and
in no way do I intend to minimize the trauma experienced by this horrific event
by saying this. But I see so many parallels between this Boston tragedy and
living with an eating disorder. Are you thinking I'm crazy yet? After endless
hours fixed to the news, here’s what I’ve observed:
Both events try to steal from us our ability to live normal
lives, to be carefree and relaxed.
Both appear to arise out of nowhere, through no action on
our part. We are victims of bombings, and we are victims of our eating
disorders. Sure, eating disorders can be triggered by a trauma or even a diet,
but only in certain people. Neither advertisements nor parents cause eating
disorders. We can be at the wrong place at the wrong time, and we can have the
unfortunate genetic makeup combined with triggers that set off our eating
Both cause harm that leaves its mark on our memory, which
permanently sensitizes us. Of course we may fully recover but both events. But
having suffered with an eating disorder we may be more sensitive to others who
live with this condition, and we may have a heightened awareness of the
triggers which set it off.
It takes a great deal of support from a range of sources to
move on following both this bombing tragedy and an eating disorder—medical
experts, mental health counselors, dietitians in the case of an eating
disorder, and those whose experience with such traumas allows you to trust that
recovering is possible.
Both require you to realize why it's worth pushing to get
through—in spite of the difficulty, the depression, the frustrations, the
Yes, you can get through this.
If you’re suffering from the continuing uncertainty of this
past week’s events—with a terrorist still at large, or you struggle with
anorexia, bulimia, or binge eating disorder, be defiant; do not submit to
suffering silently or passively. And do not accept that this is simply the way
it has to be, that you are simply doomed to live your life a victim of your
Be determined to take
charge—to not allow your eating disorder or acts of terror to steal your
precious life from you. Declare that you'll show up in Boston for the next
Marathon to run or to root, and that you'll work to get yourself healthy to not
be a victim of your eating disorder.
See all articles by Lori Lieberman, RD, CDE, MPH, LDN, at: http://dropitandeat.blogspot.com