By: Matt Billas
I’ve read a lot of articles, stories, and social media posts recently about eating disorders, and more specifically, ones geared toward males.
A year ago, I avoided these. I didn’t want to know what I already knew deep down. I wasn’t willing or ready to face it head-on, to call it what it was. It was hard to see my life played out in front of my eyes through someone else’s story or writing, even academic journal articles on male eating disorders, like a dream or biopic, things looked close enough to reality that it was frightening. I avoided it for my own sanity and comfort, biding time and doing damage in the meantime as I hesitated.
Today, I still often feel unsettled as I skim similar writings, not because I still fear acknowledging them. I have an eating disorder; that’s a fact at this point not open for interpretation. But now, the pain lies in seeing how easily I fell into its trap; how it tricked me as its tricked others, almost as if I was set up for failure.
How could I have been so foolish?
How did I not see it even as others began recognizing it in me?
Why could I not acknowledge it for what it was?
Hindsight is 20-20. I have come to terms with that just like I come to terms with my disorder daily. I don’t resent that recognition. The more we can openly share about ourselves and spread awareness, the more hindsight for one can become foresight for another or their loved ones. The snare loses its bait.