Thank you for all the birthday wishes, belated and early. You rocketed me back to giddy happiness:
I look like a puny, FOB-y, Trojan-happy freshman. But see that happy look on my face? It’s real.
I’m slowly catching up on birthday dinners with different groups of friends, either making a racket next to soju-shooting old men in a Korean BBQ restaurant with my girlfriends, or slurping habanero salsa from homestyle tacos with fellow WORLD journalists.
I also had my first birthday cake in a very long time:
This sexy chocolate hazelnut cake is from Urth Caffe in downtown Los Angeles, gifted by my fine-looking church friends:
Since my birthday was on a Sunday, I spent six hours of it in church. Best place to be in. I think the last real birthday cake I had was when I was…7? I’m not really a cake person, but that cake was little cake and all cream, chocolate and Nutella—SO good. Thank you, guys!
I’ve been a less regular blogger lately, and that’s because I feel like I’m writing every waking moment. It also has to do with the fact that food isn’t a singular passion anymore. I’m finally feeling like my love for food is abating to a healthy balance with other interests. I have another Weekend ED post in store sometime about that, but for this post, I’m really just popping in to share something quick with you.
This summer, I started interning for WORLD Magazine. I also spent a month in Asheville, N.C., dressing up as Julia Childs, taking drizzly walks with my buddy Chelsea, and talking about Jewish history with my editors, the Olaskys.
In between all those pleasantries, I was also doing actual work. One of the most important work was collecting eating disorder stories for WORLD. Through the aid of helpful individuals, I was able to listen to five incredible stories.
It’s a blessing and a curse to be able to write something you’re so passionate about. I felt each story deeply, because they related so much to mine in so many different layers. I was able to ask for details others may not ask because I’ve been through similar fears and behaviors. It was easy to write this article because I understood the subject, but heart wrenching to hear the stories of pain and despair.
I didn’t do these individuals justice with their stories. It’s impossible to capture all the nuances and key moments of their experiences under five pages. The actual first draft I wrote met 4,000 words, and I read it over and over again agonizing on how to cut it down. I managed to shave off maybe 50 words with the help of a couple of editor-friends, but otherwise turned it to the editors as is. Thankfully, I have terrific and understanding editors who helped whittle it down to half its original length.
This is the incomplete story of six human beings—including me—who will show you slices of what it is like to suffer from an eating disorder. The thing is, for EDs, just six stories can show a remarkably whole picture of ED. That’s because even though our backgrounds may differ, our symptoms and behaviors are disturbingly similar.
That’s the evil disease of ED. It binds unique individuals together into one chain of bondage, stripping away all forms of individuality, personality, beauty and talents. It produces an army of invalidated, unhappy and whipped ED drones.
Read the utterly unglamorous side of ED. It’s real, and it’s hideous.