The following post has been sitting in my drafts folder for nearly a year. I don’t know why I have been so hesitant scared to share it. I think it’s because when you put a lot of effort into moving past the dark parts of your life, the last thing you want is for others to freshly define you by them.

And to be honest, I was completely content leaving this in my drafts folder, maybe forever. But today I had a strong feeling that I was supposed to share it. I don’t know why.

I’ve learned to listen to those feelings. So here it is.

 

ONE OF THESE MEN

One of the men from these photos has an eating disorder. So does the other.

One of these men weighs 188 lbs at 6’4″. The other weighs 330 lbs. at 6’4″. But tell me. Apart from size, which man is which?

One of these men can’t fit in an amusement park ride. The other can’t sit down in an amusement park ride because his tailbone is protruding and it hurts too much.

One of these men looks in the mirror and sees only how fat he is. So does the other.

One of these men can’t stop destroying his body. Neither can the other.

One of these men is incapable of looking in a mirror and seeing anything valuable. So is the other.

One of these men loves to starve himself of food. The other loves to shovel it down his throat as fast as he can so that the other man can starve himself again.

One of these men has a very distorted body image. The other does too.

One of these men has an extreme fear of gaining weight. The other does too. One just does it so the other can exist.

One of these men is extremely malnourished. The other is too.

One of these men hides his eating disorder from the world. The other does too.

One of these men hides the truth wherever he can. The other does too.

One of these men knows how fat everyone thinks he is. The other does too.

One of these men never feels he is skinny enough. The other can’t wait to damage his own body to get there.

One of these men hates his eating disorder. The other does too.

One of these men for some reason loves his eating disorder. The other does too.

One of these men feels worthless. The other does too.

One of these men feels powerless. The other does too.

One of these men loves the power he has over the destruction of his body. The other does too.

One of these men was hurt by a vicious past. The other was too.

One of these men was bullied severely as a teenager. The other was too.

One of these men loathes fat people. The other does too.

One of these men doesn’t love himself. The other doesn’t either.

And, one of these men will beat his disorder. The other will too.

You see, one of these men was me. And the other was too.

One photo was taken five years ago. The other, seven.

“Be kind. For everyone you meet is fighting a great battle.” ~Philo of Alexandria

Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing

PS. I haven’t talked much here on Single Dad Laughing about the two eating disorders from my past (and occasionally, I’m finding out, from my present)… anorexia and binge eating. In fact, I think I only ever mentioned one of them (in the Small Side of the Numbers Post).

What do you think after reading this post and then reading the Philo of Alexandria quote at the end? Does it change your perspective about anybody you know or the strangers you see on the street? How does any of this apply to you?

Oh, and this whole sickness thing has really set me back in the Happiness Series. I’ll get back to that Sunday or Monday night!