First off, every time I type bone, I first spell it ‘boan’. What’s that about?
Second, and most important, I must state that this post describes eating disorder behaviors and a review of a movie that focused on eating disorders. I am not trying to trigger anything in anyone. ❤
Okay, so Netflix released a movie on Friday called To the Bone. (seriously, boan again.) When I first saw the preview for this movie, I hadn’t yet fully admitted to having an eating disorder, and was really shocked when I had the reaction that I did to it. I became extremely uncomfortable and anxious and wanted Hubby to turn the preview off. I had no idea why I was so triggered by that preview, especially since the main focus was Anorexia, and that’s not something I suffer from. That was actually the start to what is now me treating my disorder. (among many other events that happened all at once.)
I saw that the movie was released and for some reason I just really wanted to watch it. So after a wonderful (and successful non-binging) night of dinner at a friend’s house, I curled up on the couch with my husband and turned it on. I became very, very nervous before it even started. I just didn’t know what to truly expect, but I started to remember how the preview made me feel.
So here’s where I’ll say that this movie was funny. That is the truth. I cracked up a few times. While watching it, I wasn’t triggered. Again, WHILE WATCHING IT I wasn’t triggered. I actually spent the whole time being like, oh, this is totally fine. IT’S A TRAP, Y’ALL. Unfortunately when it was over, that’s where the real “fun” began. Suddenly I busted into tears and started having obsessive thoughts and memories enter into my head. I started “body checking” myself and the self-loathing set in. Then, I realized that they very much did not use the opportunity to really focus on a much needed look at ALL eating disorders, just anorexia and slightly bulimia. Binge eating was “there”, but basically ignored and wrongfully depicted. I was actually shocked because I read that the movie was made by people that struggled with eating disorders…. so I was so confused how they could leave so much out and show so much wrong. (Now, here’s where I say that everyone obviously has different experiences. I can’t speak for every single person that has a disorder and I’m certainly not the boss of how anyone’s opinion should be on this movie)
Then I started remembering that I hated my body/myself so much growing up that I would actually pray to God and ask him to give me the ability to be anorexic. I viewed anorexia as something to be admired. Those people had such amazing will-power. I didn’t view them as people with a serious deadly disease, I viewed them as strong. And I hated myself for not being like them. I hated myself for not being strong enough to resist food, because believe me… I tried.
It has been about 14 hours since I watched the movie and my mind is still in “obsessive mode”. I’ve weighed myself several times (yes, I found the scale) and I’ve body checked obsessively. I’ve talked down to myself and it’s been bad. I’m working on distraction, but mostly I’m working on telling you what having an eating disorder is really like.
I was actually extremely proud of my husband as he watched it. When they showed how the parents were treating her disease, he was shocked and said, “Those parents are in desperate need of a support group”. Which yes, my husband has attended for me.
I loved what the Alliance for Eating Disorder Awareness posted on Facebook:
An overwhelming number of 30 million Americans are currently battling eating disorders. With that number continuing to grow, eating disorders have become a nationwide crisis. The 2017 Netflix film, To The Bone, details the story of a young woman battling this serious mental illness. While the film has sparked a very important (and much needed) conversation around a frequently stigmatized and misrepresented illness, The Alliance for Eating Disorders Awareness understands that the film can be triggering for some viewers and would like to stress several key facts about eating disorders.
1. Eating disorders are biopsychosocial illnesses.
2. Eating disorders are NOT a choice and do not discriminate between race, gender, age, socioeconomic status, body size, or sexual orientation.
3. Individuals struggling with eating disorders are neither childish nor cowardly. They are struggling with a serious and potentially fatal mental illnesses.
4. Families are not to blame and family members can, and often do, have an important role in supporting individuals on their journey to recovery.
5. Proper treatment needs to be conducted by specialized professionals in appropriate facilities with clinical oversight and monitoring.
6. The treatment of eating disorders requires a multi-disciplinary team specialized in eating disorders including: primary therapist, family therapist, registered dietitian, medical doctor, and often a psychiatrist.
7. Essential ethics and boundaries between clients and clinicians must be maintained for health and safety.
8. Recovery is rarely, if ever, an epiphany. The recovery process is not linear.
9. Ambivalence is common in eating disorder recovery, especially in the early stages. It does not preclude treatment from having beneficial or positive effects.
10. With access to proper care, complete recovery is possible!
For more information about eating disorders, please contact The Alliance at 866.662.1235 or www.allianceforeatingdisorders.com. For help finding specialized treatment, please visit www.findedhelp.com.
Nine Truths about Eating Disorders – https://www.aedweb.org/…/171-9-truths-about-eating-disorders
So, do I recommend the movie? Eh… not really. Definitely not if you have triggers towards an eating disorder.
Do I like that this movie is opening more and more discussion about eating disorders? YES. YES I DO.
Don’t get me wrong, the movie made me laugh (and not just at Keanu’s crappy acting). But as someone who is currently in a lot of emotional and mental pain… I’m not a huge fan. Do I hate you if you already watched it, or plan to watch it anyway? Uh… heck no. Go for it. If I read this same blog, I still probably would have watched it. I’m someone who just has to know what everyone is talking about. haha. No shame.
I just wish someone would have pointed out this girl’s eating disorder when she was a kid… because she’s had it for 25 years… I wish someone would have told her that she wasn’t just a fat failure, that she had a serious mental disorder and she needed to seek proper treatment. I wish someone would have spoke up without making her feel like she was never going to get better. I wish that 25 years later, she wasn’t such a pro at lying and denying her disorder. I wish she would have been strong enough to admit she needed help when her therapist pointed it out a year ago. I wish so many things for her… but now she’s finally where she needs to be. (I’ll stop talking in third person) I can’t go back and change my life, unfortunately, but I can accept the life I do have. I can accept my disorder and I can recover from it. It’s not going to be at all easy, but it is possible.
IT IS POSSIBLE TO RECOVER.
Seek help. You are not alone and you are not a failure. Get the help.
It’s okay to get the help.
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