About Eating Disorders

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By Kelly Mou

Kelly Mou is an actress, and perhaps even a seagull, and she is certainly a student in Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies. Serving as the Artistic Director of Untitled Theater Company, their debut Shakespeare in the Park performance, "All's Fair In Love and War," concluded last Saturday. With that behind her, Kelly can now enjoy playing the guitar and going for long morning walks. Otherwise, you'll often find her trying memorize her monologue the day before it's performed. Her favorite book is "Cat's Cradle" by Kurt Vonnegut, her favorite living artist is Anna Deavere Smith, and her favorite deceased writer is Samuel Johnson.

 In 2019, Anorexia Nervosa took over and shaved four years of happiness off my life; however,  the seeds had long been planted since my childhood.  

Since I was a child, I was obsessed with being small, thin, and skinny, concepts that were fed to me by the adults around me.  

The adults around me were worried that I was going to die.  

I was going to die.  

I wish I could tell you that eating disorders are a feminine problem that only happens to girls overly concerned with their looks. I wish I could tell you that, but I realized the truth when my heart was beating at 30 beats per minute, and I could count the strands of hair left on my head.  Every time I bled, my blood was a fleshy pink, and my uterus became defective. I couldn’t get myself to recover. I realized that it was never about how I looked.  

Sometimes, I recall those days as if they took place a decade ago. How did I ever let myself drown so deeply that even the waves gave up on washing my body to the shore? I think about those times, those days when I was unhappy, unsympathetic, malicious, and self-centered. I  became the opposite of the person I wanted to become when I decided to skip a meal for the first time.  

But are things different now? I’m at a healthy weight, I no longer have the urge to bend over a toilet and throw up, I no longer think about calories; I have a consistent menstrual cycle, and I’ve gained the ability to feel warmth both physically and emotionally.  

But I haven’t had a cupcake since 2019, I haven’t had a slice of cake since 2019, and I haven’t had a cookie since 2019. What does it mean to be fully recovered?  

The internet’s coverage of eating disorders seems to be highly focused on famous celebrities.  People who are active on social media find it easier and easier to share their stories. These are all signs that I find rewarding to see. However, I don’t know a single person who’s had anorexia in my personal life.  

I’m not a famous person, I’m not active in the modeling industry, I don’t own an Instagram account. I’m just a normal college student who wakes up every morning wishing she could travel  to 2019, and tell her younger self, “It will only get better when you make it better.”

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