If you know me, you know how much I can binge watch “Shameless” on Netflix like its my third job. Recently, I decided it was time to put my sick obsession aside for a sec and watch something a little more worthwhile. “To the Bone” follows Ellen and her struggling journey to overcome the unpleasant evils of anorexia. I’m not going to lie, I was completely skeptical about the entire idea because I, too, have struggled with an eating disorder since I was about 18. To this day, talking about it is still an uncomfortable situation for me, and watching a movie about it sure as hell didn’t thrill me. But, for some reason, I knew it was in my best interest to give the Netflix Original a shot.
Some say the movie was a disgusting exploitation of the seriousness behind eating disorders, while others say it was a sensible approach to such a harsh reality. Fortunately, I was genuinely invested in the movie. Yes, it’s completely hard to watch and see these individuals physically, mentally, and most definitely emotionally struggle. But, it’s real. These situations are real. These feelings Ellen and housemates experience are real. And, yes, the struggle is real (no pun intended). It’s a realness that not everyone will understand. And, that’s 100% okay.
I think that’s the weird truth about eating disorders. From experience, no one will ever fully understand how eating disorder minds work unless they’ve personally experienced it in some way. Getting invested in this film helped me be an outsider for just a quick minute. I felt like I watched this girl immensely struggle with her self-worth, her body image, her lack of direction, and it almost made it feel like my struggles just didn’t compare. But, what I’m starting to realize is that my journey is just as eye-opening as Ellen’s. Luckily, I’ve been fortunate enough to not know what a feeding tube is like or living in a home for hopeful individuals trying to recover. But, I do know what it feels like to be them. I know what it feels like to just completely struggle. I just know…
Everyday, I’m learning more and more about the awesome girl within. I’m starting to realize that my eating disorder isn’t shameful and I’m starting to realize that I can overcome this evil. And, above all, I’m starting to realize how much I can’t do it on my own. My journey has been hard. No matter how much I’ve been knocked down, I still seem to get up. And, for now, I’m okay with that. I’m okay knowing that I will struggle and I will make mistakes along the way. This all just means that I’m human. I believe in myself and I’d say that’s something I never thought would happen.