This week is National Eating Disorder Awareness Week. Simply based on statistics, chances are you either know someone who has been affected by an eating disorder or have been affected yourself.
As many of you know I struggled for nine years with anorexia and bulimia. I can say with great joy that I am and have been completely free of any disordered behavior or thinking for almost five years. In fact the date of my sobriety is coming up in a few months. Every April, right around Easter, I’m reminded of the dark place that I lived for so long and the freedom that I now have.
There are many people out there, men, women and young people who struggle with an eating disorder and it is potentially fatal. This week is all about noticing and acting. Thirteen years ago my mom noticed and she took action. It was Christmas Eve, I was home on break from my first semester of college, she came into my room and in her no-nonsense way that I love said, “Something is wrong. It’s pretty clear. Can you tell me what’s going on.?” At that point I was desperate; I felt trapped and her words offered me a way out. I took it.
It was the start of a very long journey to recovery that included many set-backs, but I will always be grateful that she noticed and she took action. Not everyone is as ready as I was to accept help. Approaching someone you suspect has an eating disorder is a very tricky thing. It is best if you talk to a professional counselor first before you take action, their insights may lead to a better outcome than if you simply approach the person on your own. [I’ve written more on helping a someone with an eating disorder HERE.] But what’s important is that you do something. It could mean the difference between life and death or in the least a life of bondage and a life of freedom.
Here are some ways that you can get involved this week:
1. Educate yourself. Resources HERE.
2. Take action for a friend and loved one by seeking professional help.
3. Find an event and get involved. Click HERE.
4. Get involved with the NEDA Instagram campaign: “We’re asking NEDA supporters to participate in the campaign by posting images on Instagram and tagging them #CaptureHope during NEDAwareness Week (Feb. 23-Mar. 1). These images can be anything that inspires hope for you.”
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Email: RunFarGirl [at] gmail [dot] com
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