Anorexia sucks, part 2: the disorder IS the trauma

Norm Julian
11 min readJan 1, 2024

If you need to get around the paywall, you can read this story here.

As the title suggests, there’s a Part 1 to all this, where I spiel about the various causes of my own anorexia. It’s worth checking out if you’re curious.

But now I want to talk about trauma. And I don’t mean trauma as a cause of disordered eating, which everyone already talks about. I’m talking trauma as a consequence. As in, anorexia is the trauma. And it’s cruel and horrible and, frankly, a fucking wonder that we survive it, if we survive it. And yet, like so many other mental afflictions, it’s often seen as something ultimately rooted in choice. The choice to start restricting, the choice to get better, the choice to try harder. Choice, choice, choice.

If you really dig into it (which I plan to, haphazardly and from the heart), that’s seriously messed up. This beast emaciates you and isolates you and possesses you, often irreparably damaging your relationships with loved ones as a result. Most other diseases don’t also manage to make you despicable, extreme caregiver burnout aside.

So yeah — anorexia sucks. This is in part my personal pity party, over a decade later and still reeling. I’m not sure where I’ll go with it, but let’s break it down.

I guess we can start with the ‘not your fault’ part. As in, anorexia is not your fault.

Consider the pure illogic of not eating in the first place. Eating is only a step up from the…



Norm Julian

Programmer by trade, Texpat, lover of multicolored things and sunflower seed butter