We tend to think of it as a teenage affliction. And, indeed, that's when I first felt its pull. While eating disorders like anorexia and its sib, bulimia, are about striving for a cultural body ideal, they are also about the push for perfection, the desire to gain some sense of command in an out-of-control situation by micromanaging what or how you eat. And, really, who feels more out of control than new mothers?
You can't make your child sleep through the night.
You can't make your partner feel, in his own bones, the weight of your exhaustion.
You can't make, if you're me, the world spin in reverse and redo Henry's birth.
But you can make yourself skinny. You can make yourself throw up. And mothers, in unprecedented numbers, are now doing exactly that.