So, one organization had the insight to designate the last week in February as “Eating Disorder Awareness Week.” And good for them. And for those in our insular community, we embrace it … as we rightly should.
During this “eating disorder awareness week,” a dear, passionate, insightful lady took me to an upscale, French restaurant in North Dallas. The escargot, served NOT with garlic and butter as most French cuisine restaurants will, but instead, with a creamy, buttery sauce which accentuated the delicate texture of the escargot was nothing less than sublime. The Sancerre wine added to the complexity of the taste. This culinary explosion was followed by scallops served over truffle infused risotto. The lingering tastes created a lasting impression of the perfection of taste, scent and touch. And then …
The true cruelty of eating disorders hit home. Eating disorders take an experience that can give such pleasure, such joy to a person… and bastardizes it in the most perverse way. When we dine with a loved one over a meal, when we share a meal, even if it is as simple as sharing “Kale Wednesday,” when we dare to share the joining of our emotions as expressed through a meal, we draw closer not just to that person, but we embrace their very essence with us. We express our eternal love for our mate. We laugh and cry with a person with whom our soul recognizes its counterpart in another. We dare to laugh. We dare to cry. We dare to share.
But then, this insidious disease takes this incredible bonding experience, our love of the tastes and textures and love of food, … and bastardizes it in a most cruel and perverse way.
We fall in love when we dine with someone, we embrace a meal as a shared, joyful experience. We laugh. We love. We look into each other’s eyes, we look into our souls when we share a meal… and this disease turns that sacred experience into a cruel, deadly march to death. How dare it! And how dare we let our pale and shallow egos allow it to perpetuate its dance of death.
How dare we … How dare we …
The ghostly specter of eating disorders takes this loving, shared experience and turns it into a painful, hopeless march toward death. Each bite reiterating a macabre, agonizing and perhaps inexorable path toward the grave.
The taste of food, the taste of joy, the taste of life, being cruelly ripped from our loved one as it is thrown in their face. What should be one of their most joyful experiences turned into a sensation of pain and anguish.
And all the while, we as a community stand by helplessly and do very little. We put on our little walks. We raise money to perpetuate our own self-perceived importance. Some of our so-called leaders, so imprisoned by their own pain and anguish, intentionally raise obstructions to others in the industry. And yet, we then pat ourselves on the back as we shout from the tallest treetop that “we are raising awareness.” Meanwhile, our beloved children continue to die. And we as a community cannot even deign to speak their names aloud.
How dare we … How … dare … we.
Our beloved children and loved ones continue to die. We are forced to lay our beloved children on the altar of the industry’s hubris. We have given the ultimate sacrifice. So, as we light our little buildings in shades of green and blue this week, let us never forget those incredible souls whose lives have been ripped from this world. Let us call out their names, loudly. Those are the army of Warrior Angels for whom we are fighting! Let us never forget them. And let us never forget the moms … and the dads.
Let us remember those souls who have to live the remainder of their days with the guilt, the anguish, the shame, the incredible pain that only a parent who has had the most precious thing they hold dear ripped most cruelly from them have to endure each and every day … until their very last day. How dare we not raise them up. How dare we not honor them. How dare we disregard them. How dare we disrespect them. They have paid the ultimate price. They have made the ultimate sacrifice. They have paid with the dearest blood possible. How dare we forget them.
How dare we. How dare we.