Killing Me Softly

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I went to the gym yesterday and saw a woman who is obviously severely anorexic.  This isn’t the first time that I’ve seen her and every time it leaves me unbalanced.  If I saw someone starving on the street I would give them money or food-but this isn’t that simple.  This is physical starvation walking hand and hand with deeper emotional needs.

As I run on the treadmill across the room from her-I watch.  She’s there long before me and stays long after I leave.  I notice that no one seems to be looking and I can’t tell why.  Are they sneaking glances, but feeling powerless to help?  Or do they not even see her at all?  I don’t know.  I have to believe that they are as lost as I am because the alternative is too scary to think about.   We wouldn’t continue running and sweating on our machines if someone keeled over from a heart attack.  We wouldn’t stand and watch someone place a pistol to their temple. Yet we are watching another human being slowly take her life, right before our eyes.  

I am ashamed of myself.  

I feel as if I should do more, but I don’t know how.  So, I can at least do this…  

I can write.  

I can say it out loud and believe in the power of words sent out into the world.  

I can believe that being seen, even by one person, is more powerful than being ignored.

I can hope that maybe one of you has a better answer than mine…



5 Responses | TrackBack URL | Comments Feed

  1. My best friend from high school, who was also my college roommate, suffered from anorexia. It was agonizing to watch her slowly waste away. I DID try, over and over, to intervene, as did many of our other friends. Nothing worked until she wound up in the hospital and got professional help.

    I'm not sure there IS anything you can say, especially to a stranger. Until the person is ready to admit they have a problem, they won't hear you.

  2. I guess I kind of know that *sniff* but it seems so wrong and sad. I think I had to at least acknowledge it to feel better. That's kind of selfish, but I'm not sure what else to do with it. I know that a stranger won't fix it-I'm sure her family and friends have tried. Yet the silence seems wrong in it's own way. I'm sorry about your best friend. That had to have been really hard for you. ((((hugs)))) I'm glad she was able to get help and I'm sure part of her motivation was how much you cared.

  3. In college I had a friend who suffered from bulimia, and it was horrible. Her hair started to fall and even when she recovered her hair didn't grow back properly. And I think maybe her organs inside didn't heal properly. It's so horrible 🙁

  4. Sometimes people refuse to acknowledge that they have a problem. It's hard.

  5. I think that is the hardest part, being unable to fix something for someone else. That has to be heart wrenching as a parent.

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