My Moral Autobiography
Junior year of high school I was diagnosed as having an eating disorder; I was anorexic which can be defined as "a serious, potentially life-threatening eating disorder characterized by self-starvation and excessive weight-loss" (http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org). This definition does not mention that the effects of this can range anywhere from death to the inability to have children. This medical definition is broad and does not really encompass any of the mental side of the disease. In my struggle with anorexia I was faced with both the moral issues that anorexia inevitably brings about such as lying, self destruction, and societal pressure and the distorted body image that the disease causes. Anorexia itself is not the moral situation I plan to discuss; I will explain how throughout my illness how I was challenged morally and after I came to terms with my illness how I had to examine my beliefs and morals. I can not be one hundred percent sure that I will be able to because of the damage I did to my body. What I will discuss in this moral autobiography is the journey through my illness and I will connect this to my own moral character and how it changed and progressed.
Anorexia, although a disease is somewhat of a choice, or at least in my case it was. My Junior year of high school I was starting to develop as a woman. My whole life I had been extremely thin due to my fast metabolism and my tall lanky frame. I was used to this role, and enjoyed it. I used to enjoy when people would tell me I was skinny, and it came to the point where I felt this characteristic almost defined me as a person. When I was fifteen I finally went through menstruation; it was the summer going into my sophomore year of high school when it happened. This is late for most girls and especially for my family because both my sisters had gotten it by the age of ten. This late start had caused me to grow to about five foot seven or so and gain minimal weight to go along with the height. As sophomore progressed into junior year this weight started to catch up with me. I was still growing into my current five foot nine height, but the height growth had leveled off and the weight had started to catch up. Right before the illness began I had gotten up to about 135 pounds and was about five foot eight. I can remember a few days before Christmas my junior year I tried on a new skirt that I had gotten a few months earlier to wear to church to our Christmas Eve mass. As I was pulling it up I realized that it was too snug to get up all the way and I looked at myself in the mirror and for the first time ever felt fat. Now granted in reality I still looked thin because I was tall and could carry the weight well because of my slender frame, but something inside me wouldn't accept that and all I acknowledged was being too big to fit into the skirt. Over Christmas it just so happened that my entire family got food poising the night after Christmas at my grandparents house. This involved throwing up almost the entire night and not feeling well the next couple days. As I recovered from this ailment my appetite did not. This is where morality starts to play a role in this autobiography of this illness I had. The first moral aspect I will be discussing is the lying that goes on in this illness, not only to yourself but those that care about you the most. This lying is so desperate and complicated that it can eat away at the moral standards you once had and make it seem okay to lie to those who love you. The most surprising thing with this is how easy it becomes to lie to those around you and to yourself. It can be comparable to how it is said that once you kill someone it is easier to do it the second time and keeps becoming easier every time after that; obviously on a much smaller scale. These lies were personal acts I chose to do as an individual "the ordinary and extraordinary things we do which have an...
Cited: Connors, Russell B. Jr. and Patrick T. McCormick. Character, Choices & Community.
New York: Paulist Press, 1998.
National Eating Disorders Association. 2002. National Eating Disorder Association
Gula, R. Reason Informed By Faith.
New York: Paulist Press, 1989
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