Sandy is a reminder that one is strong enough to defeat their demons.Read more
February is National Eating Disorder Awareness Month, and heralds the start of fundraising month for the Something for Kelly Foundation. Eating disorders are a critically underfunded area of research, and insurance coverage for treatment remains inadequate.
When Nancy Burk, Kelly’s mom, spoke before guests at the Something for Kelly’s Illinois Gala on February 26, hearts were touched when she shared details of Kelly’s struggle not otherwise known. She shared what’s become a dangerous theme – a lack of awareness.
Don’t wait to get help. That is my advice and my message to everyone. Though it is never too late to get help and begin the recovery journey, the longer you have lived with your eating disorder, the harder it gets. And when you do start, don’t stop until you are fully recovered.
Last weekend, I was hanging out with a new group of girls and at one point, the conversation turned to laser hair removal and plastic surgery. The girls all had personal stories about their experiences with both. I don’t have an opinion on either, but I did wonder where we had learned that this was what beautiful meant.
In the midst of my eating disorder, I become a slave to my food rituals while at the same time cowering from anybody else’s. My own eating rituals occupy my every thought, and I can’t fathom the idea of exposing those patterns to anyone else. At the same time, participating in the food-based festivities of others seems like a feat akin to walking on water – just not possible for me.
When I was approached to contribute a post to the Something for Kelly Foundation, I got really excited. I read through Kelly’s story and was moved by the love and compassion that shone from her friends and family. I was moved by sadness at how her life ended though her story continues on. I was moved by the possibility of good coming from tragedy.
This week I got to speak at a panel at my school for mental health issues; I will admit being invited felt a bit odd to me because I don’t sit around thinking of having an eating disorder as being a mental health issue. Every single other person on the panel had been diagnosed with some form of depression or anxiety at some point and they all discussed their experiences with medication and therapy. I was the after-thought. The outlier.
It’s normal to feel like you’re sometimes moments away from relapse – especially in the early stages of eating disorder recovery. Bookmark this page so that whenever you need a little inspiration or a reminder of your strength, you have twenty inspiring quotes to refresh your spirit.
“My worst days in recovery are better than the best days in relapse.”
– Kate Le Page
“I am beginning to measure myself in strength, not pounds. Sometimes in smiles.”
– Laurie Halse Anderson
“In any given moment we have two options: to step forward into growth or to step back into safety.”
– Abraham Maslow
First and foremost, I was and continue to be overwhelmed in the most cliched way possible by the response I got to the first blog. I want to thank each and every person who even pretended to read the blog and just clicked “like” (I guess they probably aren’t reading this, but whatever). I was scared out of my mind to post something like that on Facebook, mainly for the reason that I didn’t want to annoy people with it–a feeling which was quickly negated by the outpouring of lovely messages and personal conversations I had with people. So thank you!
I’m going to fail. I’d like to be more positive than that, but I am going to fail. In a few weeks time I will be going home for winter break and commence by far the most trying time of my entire year: eating big meals around my extended family.