child of God, wife, mother, recovering anorexic who longs to see the beauty in herself that she sees in the world around her

Saturday, July 24, 2010

not odds I like

I was just watching a youtube video to Superchick's "Courage" and saw an alarming statistic.  Only 40% of people who suffer from anorexia or bulimia make a full recovery. Those aren't great odds.  Think about if you had cancer and the doctor said, "Well the odds are more likely that you will die than live, but we can hope."  Or if he said, "There's a 4 in 10 chance you'll go into and stay into remission."  Those are odds that would make the strongest of people worrisome. Those are odds that if you had cancer, you would start making sure everything was in order, just in case.

Then there was another statistic that I didn't care for.  Another 30% of people who have suffered from anorexia or bulimia will struggle throughout their lives.  Again, not odds I like.  Again picture your doctor with the cancer diagnoses again but this time saying, "Well, I think we can get you in remission but you will relapse several times through what remains of your life.  Then you will have to go through the painful process of radiation and chemo all over again.  You will experience life and near death through your entire life and there is nothing we can do about that. When you get better, enjoy it because another round of chemo is in your near future."  Hmmm, not really much of a life is it? Apparently I am currently in this 30% though I long to be in the other 40%. 

That does leave 30% unaccounted for.  I assume that those are the statistics of those who die. Most of us who have dealt with anorexia, know that death is a possibility.  We see the pictures and wonder how those girls can still be alive and then continue to do it to ourselves.  We know that kidneys fail and heart attacks happen.  But for some reason, that, nearly always,  isn't enough of a reason to not starve ourselves.  We've heard the stories of the hospital trips and in-patient care rehab and then we have witnessed the relapse almost as soon as you think they have found hope.  Part of you cheers for the girl who completed rehab and has gained 7 lbs.  Part of you prays she will forever succeed.  Part of you is grateful for the hope that if someone else made it through then you can as well.  But part of you pats yourself on the back for not being a quitter.  Part of you feels superior because you were better at depriving yourself than she was.  Part of you knows she needed help, but also doesn't know that you do need help.  "It will never happen to me" seems to be the motto.

Hmm, I just don't like the odds that say 60% either die or struggle until they die.  I don't want to be in that statistic.  I want to be part of the 40% that gets better and never looks back.  Maybe someday I will join that group.  I'm just not there yet.

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