For whatever reason, I feel the need to preface this post with a declaration that I do not buy the Daily Mail. Finding it, all too often, a thinly veiled excuse to propound nationalistic views, I frequently have to remind readers that the world is not really that bad a place unless they believe all they read in this trussed up tabloid.
I was, however, drawn to the full page article about a long suffering mother, who, five years after her daughter’s tragic death, has made the decision to release the girl’s diaries. Diaries that record the tortured journey of Loredana Verta, a bright, talented sixteen year old, who was dead within three years. Heart attack.
Rightly or wrongly, some of this young sufferer’s innermost thoughts and feelings are laid bare in newsprint for all to see.
The workings of this girl’s mind are utterly consumed by the illness. Her writing is littered with scribbled self loathing, capitalised screams of “I HATE ME… I HATE MY BODY”. Most teenagers feels like this at some point. Hormones, skin, peer pressure, perfection culture, fashion… It’s all there to taunt the aspiring, spot laden, hormone raging teen.
Except Loredana’s thoughts are all centred on weight loss and weight gain and wrongly perceived fat.
To my mind, what is more haunting than the poisonous self hatred, the desperation, the pleas to God and the cries for help, are the words of a grieving mother, who says,
“Lorry thought she could live with the condition – that as long as she was thin, she would be OK. She didn’t realise that anorexia is a deadly disease. It is a killer”.*
For long term sufferers, ‘old hands’,
Anorexia can be so ingrained, so deeply habitual, that we forget that it is something UNnatural… an invasion. It becomes like Stockholm Syndrome… It’s is our natural fall back position.
Let’s get real.
It is deadly.
We think it won’t ever happen to us, and yet, why wouldn’t it? It killed Loredana in just THREE years.
Of all psychiatric disorders, Anorexia is the biggest killer. TWENTY PERCENT of sufferers die prematurely.^
I hear my wake up call.
Can you hear yours?
* Emphasis is mine
^ Statistics according to B-EAT