It’s National Eating Disorder Awareness Week.
I am a survivor of bulimia, anorexia, and obsessive and restricted eating.
I have a family history of eating disorders. You could say they run in my family.
I’ve been in therapy on and off since I was 14. I’ve been on anti-depressants and anti-anxiety prescriptions since I was 14.
Some people blame the media. Others blame their parents. Still others blame themselves. Eating disorders, however, can be attributed to various biological, psychological, and social factors. For me, my eating disorder was a manifestation of all of these elements.
Statistics start to paint the bigger picture ::
- Nearly 30 million people suffer from an eating disorder in the U.S.
- Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness.
- Only 10% of people with eating disorders receive treatment.
I am not “eating disorder free.” I am in recovery. It has taken me nearly 15 years to learn to reconcile with my past. It has taken me this long to recognize that I am enough. Some days my body and mind are in a battle. Sometimes a relapse feels right around the corner. Some days are harder than others.
These days I’m a mom. And often times, things feel completely out of control. I’ve learned to breathe. I’ve learned to ask for help. I’ve learned to take time for myself. I’ve learned that “therapy” isn’t a bad word. I’m working on surrounding myself with things that serve me well. I’m working to distance myself from the toxic things in my life. I’m working on letting go. I’m a work in progress.
Often we struggle in silence and in isolation. So let’s break the silence and talk about this. We need to support each other. We need to ask for help, seek help, and offer help.
Here’s where to start…
Educate :: If you suspect a loved one might be suffering from an eating disorder, learn more.