10/02/2015 12:42 GMT | Updated 12/04/2015 06:59 BST

20 Things Someone With an Eating Disorder Wishes They Could Tell You

The world of eating disorders is one I know well - it's secretive and elusive, a realm of bones and hush-hush tones. Talking about it is hard. Our voices get lost amongst the vociferous cries of our mental counterparts in our head. Even when we do speak out, all we see are expressions of embarrassment and confusion, exchanging anxious glances to encourage the conversation along to a nicer, safer place.

We're often hard to read; our minds are a cacophony but yet the emotions we allow to pour through are stifled and indifferent. As much as mental health is progressively becoming an active talking point in societal discourse, the nuances of mental health disorders are scarcely discussed - maybe because there are so many it's impossible to find a starting point. However through my own personal journey, I have largely remained silent too, feeling that any attempt at explaining something that's an entire grey area would be hopeless. But although the world might not be ready to unearth the monumental complexities of eating disorders just yet, it might be ready to hear 20 things that someone with an eating disorder wishes they were able to tell you.

  1. I envy you for being able to eat without a burdening feeling of guilt, shame and self loathing.
  2. I often envision myself eating normally - enjoying it - but the idea is always better than reality.
  3. Please don't feel guilty about eating in front of me. Watching other people eat with enjoyment spread across their faces fills me with a warmth you wouldn't know.
  4. I wish I could cook for you and share the meal together. I really do.
  5. My anorexia isn't an attempt to be thin and beautiful. It's about disappearing entirely.
  6. My bulimia isn't about having my cake and eating it. It's about punishing myself.
  7. I'm sorry that I cancel on you so much but my bulimia forces unexpected dates upon me that I have to attend.
  8. If I do ever eat anything in front of you, take that as a huge sign of trust.
  9. If I do ever eat anything in front of you, please don't bring any attention to this situation.
  10. Eating disorders aren't just a starvation of food - they are a starvation of life and joy.
  11. I am not being rude when I don't join in your conversations about food. I just feel so disconnected from that part of life.
  12. It annoys me when you go on diets because you're perfect and happy as you are. Don't ruin that. I know where obsession leads.
  13. I didn't look at a picture of a model and seek to acquire their figure. I looked at myself and hated the reflection; I thought I took up too much space.
  14. When I ask you if I look big, I am not attention seeking. I need reassurance that my quest to diminish is working.
  15. Me not wanting to be your size doesn't mean I think you're fat. It means I associate your size with happiness of which I am not worthy of.
  16. When meeting new people, please don't imply that I eat to try and make me not stand out. I think they will see me as weak for being an eater.
  17. My eating disorder doesn't act alone; its friends are depression and anxiety.
  18. I used to love food and still do. I probably think about food more than you do.
  19. My eating disorder isn't a choice - it's an illness.
  20. I will never expect you to understand me and my disorder as I don't think I even understand myself.