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I hide my eating disorder

Readers: BOOKMARK THIS to see the column every day: http://www.salon.com/topic/since_you_asked/


Dear Cary,

I feel a bit silly sending this letter as you frequently address others with questions and issues and problems far deeper than mine, but I like your style, your voice, your compassion. You feel safe.

I'm 27. I own a home, have the job I've always wanted (which I got right out of college), I'm in an awesome master's program, have awesome friends, a crazy-in-a-good-way family, and a cool boyfriend. Sounds pretty darn perfect, right?

I struggled through high school and college with disordered eating. I limited calories, exercised for extreme amounts of time, and generally avoided situations where I could not control what was entering or exiting my body. My college roommates noticed and staged an intervention. I love them for this, but all it did was increase the guilt and powerlessness I feel over these compulsions. When I am feeling down or stressed or alone, you can guess right where my brain goes: calories, my weight/size and exercise. Did I mention I run half marathons? And lift weights? And am fit and healthy and look "normal"? I do. This only makes things worse because no one would believe how I see and feel about myself. I'm slipping down this slope again. I don't know what to do.

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