‘My Secret Life: A Memoir of Bulimia’: A face behind the statistics

6 Jan

As I delved into Waters’ harrowing account of the slow creep of her disorder and its two-year grip on her body and life, a recent I carried out with an expert in the field of body image and eating disorders lingered with me.

According to Harriet Parsons of Bodywhys, the Eating Disorders Association of Ireland, very often a sufferer will engage in disordered behaviour in the pursuit of perfection, and to take back control in an area of their lives where they feel vulnerable or inadequate.

This resonated with me as I took in Waters’ accounts of her lack of body confidence, stemming from childhood humiliations; experiences which she felt cast an unsightly blot on her otherwise flawless persona. While I mentally (and, arguably, clinically) found myself ticking a box on an imaginary checklist, I could not help but be drawn much farther down into the dark recesses of the mind of a deeply distressed soul as she writes:

[My appearance] had been something I had always struggled with and was one of my personal failures on my path to perfection. If anything could damage my flawless mental profile, it would be my weight.

Click below to listen to my interview in full with Harriet Parsons

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