Monday, 11 May 2015

10 things not to say (and how to say them better).

This goes out to, well, everyone. I was sitting and thinking (always dangerous) and feeling huge and ugly and all a bit rubbish and hell-ish, and then I was like, 'you know what's hell-ish and never really dealt with?" Being on the other side. In the last few years, I've been a sufferer and I am a loved one, and only the personal really is ever even considered, and even that isn't usually done a- wait, that's a rant I'll save. But oh, I can cope with failing myself, but I can't cope, conversely, with the idea that my best friend Alex feels that way about herself. It's hard as hell even knowing the disorder as well as I do, but how the hell do you manage if you don't? What do you say? How might it be interpreted? Why have you angered somebody when you tried to be nice? Will the anger they feel be taken out of their failing body?

It's a bit crap, to be polite, watching anybody die a slow death, and well-meaning comments can be twisted so easily by the ED. So these are my Top 10 Completely Disastrous List of Verbal Disasters, [to say to a sufferer of ny of the disastrous disasters that are eating disorders]. It's not definitive, but I'll try and explain them along the way. Any questions or anything, just hit me up, yo'.

-Every woman struggles with their body.
How it's (probably) meant- Don't worry; we all feel the same, but it's alright. Solidarity! Comrade!
How it (often) is interpreted- Oh, please. Shut up, eat a sandwich, because this is getting old. We've all been there and we don't sit whinging over it. You're not different or special or suffering more than anyone, you just complain more.
Better way of putting it- Want a cuppa? A chat? No pressure, but if you want to talk about it, I'm here. If you want/need anything, I'll be there.

-Do you think I'm fat?
How it's (probably) meant- I love you, but I'm self conscious too and I know how much you judge yourself and I don't want to lose you because you find me disgusting.
How it (often) is interpreted- Oh, please. Shut up, eat a sandwich, because you'll never be good enough. You're horrible, the way you judge yourself and must judge others. But look how fabulous I am, and how little my weight matters to how I feel and how I'm viewed. Look how much your weight does matter. Soz, mate, but that's because you're so awful..
Better way of putting it- Want a cuppa? A chat? No pressure, but if you want to talk about it, I'm here. If you want/need anything, I'll be there.

-You're so strong, I tried a starvation diet and got too hungry.
How it's (probably) meant- Your will-power is amazing. I'm a bit of an ignorant one, and am pretty sure eating disorders are just diets and dieting is hard. Well done, you!
How it (often) is interpreted- Oh, please. Shut up, eat a sandwich, because I don't get it; I know that your disorder is just a diet and it's all good to occasionally cheat on diets.
Better way of putting it- Want a cuppa? A chat? No pressure, but if you want to talk about it, I'm here. If you want/need anything, I'll be there.

-If I did all that, I'd be dead!
or
-You can't hate yourself/your body that much or you would/wouldn't wear shorts/tight clothing/anything other than black/make-up...
or
-You can't have an eating disorder- you look healthy.
How it's (probably) meant- I can't believe how much you have put your body through, and I can't imagine being so hungry or so full. Please tell me you don't hate yourself that much, or hurt yourself too much, because you're too amazing for that.
How it (often) is interpreted- Oh, please. Shut up, eat a sandwich, because I know you're exaggerating. You must be lying. Giant pants on fire. Maybe if you suddenly lost loads of weight, I'd believe you. That's probably the only way. Prove it.
Better way of putting it- Want a cuppa? A chat? No pressure, but if you want to talk about it, I'm here. If you want/need anything, I'll be there.

-Have you considered diet and exercise?
or
-I once went on this diet- it really helped...
How it's (probably) meant- I'm so scared of how unhealthy your behaviours are, so if you're going to lose weight, maybe it would be better to do it carefully?
How it (often) is interpreted- Oh, please. Shut up, eat a sandwich, because you obviously do that a lot. I've brought this up because you obviously need to lose weight, and you're obviously not doing it hardcore enough,
Better way of putting it- Want a cuppa? A chat? No pressure, but if you want to talk about it, I'm here. If you want/need anything, I'll be there.

-Are you still eating?
How it's (probably) meant- I'm just going to tidy up, would you like anything else? Is there anything I can grab you?
How it (often) is interpreted- Oh, please. Shut up, eat a sandwich. Actually, don't eat a sandwich because you've already eaten so much and I'm assessing all of the masses of calories you've just eaten. Best stitch up your mouth, fatty.
Better way of putting it- Want a cuppa? A chat? No pressure, but if you want to talk about it, I'm here. If you want/need anything, I'll be there.

-You look so much better.
How it's (probably) meant- Seeing you shrink/seeing you bloated and sore/seeing your hair and skin and nails crumble/etc was so sad and awful, but you've done so well to look so healthy.
How it (often) is interpreted- Oh, please. Shut up, eat a sandwich, fatty. Oh yes, you used to look as bad as you felt, but now I can completely see every kilo on your body and it's so obvious to everyone that you must eat like a pig.
Better way of putting it- Want a cuppa? A chat? No pressure, but if you want to talk about it, I'm here. If you want/need anything, I'll be there.

To conclude- tea. Tea and a chat, or even the offer of a chat or company, is the best you can do. There are no magic words, just copious tea and a safety net of somebody to call when it's all too much. Good luck <3 p="">

1 comment:

  1. Rebecca... I think we need to love each other, be there for each other, listen and don't judge... Your list is open and honest... it's hard to read people, we just need to give the best of ourselves ♡

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