Holy shit. Did anyone else listen to the latest “This American Life” episode with guest host Susan Burton? She does a whole segment interviewing women with or recovering from eating disorders. I listened to the whole episode with this buzzing in my chest, not able to take a deep breath.
I recognize myself in every single one of their stories. Stealing food, sneaking off to eat fast food, purging on the side of the road, finding secret bathrooms at work or school. It’s amazing how quickly the feeling of shame can resurface. I was ashamed for those women, and I am ashamed for myself.
I placed a library hold for Susan Burton’s book, and I’m excited to get it. She started the show by saying she had kept her eating disorder a secret her entire life. And by secret, she meant secret. Like kept it from her husband for 25 years, only telling her story at age 45. And that made me feel grateful. I mean, I got it off my chest after only 13 years at age 39. I’m glad it wasn’t longer.