RheasOfHope

one girl's thoughts on life, mental illness, eating disorder recovery, and hope.

When people read your blog… February 28, 2013

I see the status tab on my blog that says people read my blog, but I never really believed it. I assumed there were some little statistician elves that go around delivering numbers to make me feel better about my efforts in blogging. Apparently, though, the woman behind The Illusion of Controlled Chaos (you should really check it out) has read my blog and nominated me for a Versatile Blogger Award.  I am not quite sure versatile is the right word to describe my blog, but I am honored nonetheless. Normally, I do not do things like this, because it kind of reminds me of chain letters. You know, the ones you got in grade school where if you did not pass it on to 12 other people by midnight the love of your life would never speak to you again…or worse, there would be a worldwide shortage on unicorns as pets. Buuuut, now that I am older and mildly wiser, I have decided to do it anyway.

Here are the “rules” (because awards now come with rules):

1. Display the award logo on your blog.
2. Thank and Link back to the person who nominated you.
3. State 7 things about yourself.
4. Nominate 15 bloggers for this award (ha, yeah, because I read 15 blogs, not true)
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Ok, so seven things about myself:

1) I graduated Summa Cum Laude (3.91 GPA) from a private college with a degree in Early Childhood Education. I aspire to someday soon get a job teaching.

2) I have a kitten named Rowan whom I saved this summer from the woods after she had fallen out of a tree and been attacked by some sort of animal. She is extraordinarily dumb, so I named her after my favorite TV show character growing up, Mr. Bean (played by the multifaceted Rowan Atkinson…did you  know he was Zazu in The Lion King?).

Rowan eating her toy rat shortly after I brought her home (the wound on her side was there when I found her and has since healed nicely)

3) I have one sibling who is nine years younger than me (meaning she is still in high school). She has the exact opposite birth date and initials as me. I am RM she is MR. I was born 1/8 and she was born 8/1.

4) I LOVE photography. If I was skilled enough to do it for a living, I would. I do not go many places without my Nikon D5000 over my shoulder.

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I took this photo last week of a horse at my friend’s farm

5) I am a Christian…which is why I put a verse at the end of almost all of my posts.

6) I hope to one day see gay marriage legalized in all states. If I am able to get married because I am straight, why shouldn’t that same luxury be afforded to those who are gay?

7) It is killing me to only do seven of these because my O.C.D (actually diagnosed… I hate when people say they have O.C.D simply because they like things clean, no, you just like things clean, you don’t have it. The same thing goes for eating disorders. I hate when people who do not understand the hell of eating disorders claim to have them) manifests itself in me doing everything in even numbers. But, I am going to challenge that, and only do seven of these.

 

 

 

Then it says to nominate 15 bloggers…Here’s the thing, I do not regularly read 15 different blogs. So, I am going to nominate some blogs I actually do read and love:

1) This first blog is one to which I owe a million thank yous. I do not know where  I would be had I not come across it. Meredith has  an amazing and innate ability to put her thoughts and feelings into words in such a way that leaves you incredibly touched, empowered and full of love…all at once. I am so glad that she has become a friend and mentor of mine. Just by being Meredith, she reminds daily me how great of a gift life can be and that recovery is one of the best things that I can do for myself. This blog, there are no words to describe how much I love this blog, you will just have to visit it yourself.  http://thissideofthecreek.com/ 

2) My amazing friend Kaity could write about how grass grows and I would still find it interesting. I love her, and am so blessed that she is in my life. She is the one with whom I got my second tattoo. Her site is not wordpress though, so here’s the link: http://www.beeautifulblessings.com/

3) Mrs. Captain Firepants is hilarious and not afraid to tell it like it is…which is why I find her blog so relatable and down-to-earth. Plus, she is from Texas and my family lives in Texas so I know that kind of pain. Just kidding, Mrs. Captain Firepants, Texas is a great state. I remember my grandmother asking me if I would like to visit the Texas Schoolbook Suppository (while she meant to say Depository) when we went to Dallas. She will never live down that ill-fated choice of words. Anyways, I enjoy reading about Mrs. Captain Firepants’ latest adventures and you will too.

4) I do not know her name, but her Letters to Bee (her name for her eating disorder) have this genuine honesty mixed with thoughtful, recovery-based insight mixed with raw emotions and powerful writing. Definitely not a site to pass up.

Well, those are pretty much the only blogs I read on a daily basis.

 

 

 

2 Corinthians 9:8

 “And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.”

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When it is NEDAwareness week! February 25, 2013

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It is here again NEDAwareness week! As a person officially diagnosed with an Eating Disorder in 2011 (but exhibiting symptoms since as early as 1996), I have quickly discovered the disparities of awareness, research funding, and general education on Eating Disorders compared to other known diseases. Many insurance companies refuse to pay for services for Eating Disordered people. Imagine that, an insurance company refusing to cover the cost of treatment for a disease that has the capacity to kill the patient. What kind of a world do we live in when an insurance company has the right to deny payment for services that can save lives?  I feel that this can no longer continue. By speaking out and standing up for myself and those who have Eating Disorders, I believe that we can draw more attention to these disparities as a way to gain the support, tools, resources, funding, education and awareness that we need to combat this disease.

 

In researching statistics to include in this post, I was shocked to say the least. Below is a small table of information (from trusted sources, see bottom) to represent my findings.

Disease Number affected in US 2011 NIH funding overall* 2011 NIH funding per individual
Eating Disorders 30 Million $27 million 93 ₵93 CENTS!!!!
Alzheimer’s Disease 5.4 million $448 million $88
Schizophrenia 2.2 million $264 million $81
Autism 2 million $169 million $44

*2011 National Institutes of Health numbers used as they are the last year for which complete statistics are available

 

 

 

Some other NIH statistics I found interesting (based on 2012 estimated funding)

-Breast Cancer alone receives $280 million in NIH funding

-Obesity receives $829 million in NIH funding

-Anthrax receives $87 million in NIH funding (60 million more than EDs)

-Lyme Disease receives $28 million in NIH funding

 

So, out of Alzheimers, Schizophrenia and Autism…Eating Disorders affect THREE TIMES more than those diseases…COMBINED! Yet it receives the least amount of funding out of the three. Even Lyme Disease and Anthrax receive more NIH funding than Eating Disorders. When broken down into NIH funding per individual, those with Eating Disorders receive less than a DOLLAR each—a dollar. To put that into perspective, I found a dollar under a car in a parking lot last night as I was teaching my little sister to drive. That is the dollar that the NIH would have spent on funding research for me. Currently, at the Kroger in Cincinnati, I can buy a half a gallon of milk for 97 cents. That is more than the amount NIH would have spent on funding for me.

 

 

 

In continuing to look at ED statistics, I turned to the website of the National Eating Disorders Association. This is what I found:

-Cases of diagnosed Eating Disorders have risen every year since the 1950’s

-The rates of Bulimia Nervosa in 10-39 year old individuals tripled between 1988 and 1993

-81% of 10 year olds are afraid of becoming fat

-Mortality rates for those diagnosed are: Anorexia Nervosa at 4%, Bulimia Nervosa at 3.9%, and Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified at 5.2%

 

 

But, there is a bright side to all of these alarming statistics.

The National Eating Disorders Association is working to raise awareness, funding, education, access to medical professionals, and provides many resources to those with the disease, family members, loved ones, educators, coaches, etc. Last year alone, NEDAwarness week reached over 70 million people with their message of hope, help and recovery. I hope this year’s NEDAwareness week is able to impact even more people.

Below are some resources that I have found helpful in my journey towards recovery and would like to pass on to all those who could use it:

-NEDA helpline 1800-931-2237

-NEDA helpline via the chat feature: http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/find-help-support

-NEDA support groups available in NYC: email supportgroups@neda.org

-NEDA  has a list of support groups and research studies in your area: http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/support-groups-research-studies

-General information:

NEDA:  http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/find-help-support

LindnerCenter of Hope: http://lindnercenterofhope.org/

Something Fishy:  http://www.something-fishy.org/

MentorCONNECT:   http://www.mentorconnect-edforums.org (provides mentorship and a community of support from fellow ED warriors)

 

 

 

Remember, YOU are worthy of recovery. YOU are stronger than ED. YOU deserve to love and be loved. YOU are a precious child of God. YOU have the right to be healthy. YOU are so worthy of life. Stay strong and keep fighting!

 

Psalm 145:8-9

“The Lord is gracious and compassionate; slow to anger and rich in love. The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made.”

Resources:

http://www.alzheimersanddementia.com/article/S1552-5260(12)00032-5/abstract

http://report.nih.gov/categorical_spending.aspx

http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/get-facts-eating-disorders

http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/mortality-and-eating-disorders http://www.autismspeaks.org/what-autism

http://www.schizophrenia.com/szfacts.htm

 

When they make you get an EGD February 23, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — rheasofhope @ 4:32 pm
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This is what you would have witnessed had you come with me to get my exploratory esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) this week.

“Put these on” she said as she reached into an old blue locker and handed me a plaid pastel hospital gown and a pair of aqua socks, “I will be back to get you in a minute.” I waked into a small pastel carpeted stall, and drew the pastel curtain closed behind me. There must have been a sale on pastel décor when this office was being furnished; nearly everything looked like an Easter egg. With my body resting on the pale blue wall and my black hair covering my face, I offered up a prayer. I did not know exactly what to pray for; I did not want them to find anything wrong with me, but, on the same token, I wanted answers. Sometimes you do not have to know what you want when you pray, because God knows and will work it out for His good.

After I changed, the nurse came to take me to my bed. This is when the terror started to sink in—this was happening whether I wanted it to or not. The nurse tucked me into the white sheets like some sort of sterile burrito, hooked me up to a computerized blood pressure cuff, slipped a heart monitor on my finger, pulled up the railings so I did not tumble out of bed,  and started an IV in the crook of my arm. Then came the questions:

“So, why are we doing the EGD today, Rhea?”

Is it not on the paper? “Well, my food has been ruminating, I have had horrible heartburn and the belching makes me sound like a dirty trucker.” I often find myself using humor to disguise my fear and shyness.

She laughed, “OK, well, I am going to go through a list of symptoms and you stop me when one of them applies to you. Heartburn?”

“Yes.”

“Excessive gas or bloating?”

“No”

“Nausea or vomiting?”

“Well,” I hesitated, “I have an eating disorder,” I hate saying the words out loud. “And one of the behaviors associated with that is purging. Plus the whole rumination of the food thing I have got going on here.”

“So you’re bulimic?”

“No, I have a diagnosis of Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified. I purge, but do not binge. I restrict, but I am not underweight. I do not fit into a specific label of eating disorder as most people would view it.”

“But that isn’t active anymore, right? Like, you’re not doing that anymore?”

I cannot understand why, but I got very defensive of my ED at that moment. I felt stereotyped—which is something I find that I often feel due to my EDNOS diagnosis. For so long I felt like a fraud as an eating disordered person due to my EDNOS diagnosis, and assume other people feel the same way about me. My ED brain immediately fed me the message (pun intended) that she asked if my ED was still active because I was so fat; like it was unbelievable that I would have an ED. I replied, “I am in recovery, but it is still very much an active part of my life that I am trying to stop.”

“But you see someone for that right? You’re getting help?”

No lady, I thought I would give it a go on my own…seriously? No one can go it alone when recovering. “Yes, I see a therapist every week and it is going quite well.” I was so upset at the way I  perceived I was being treated that I do not recall any of the other questions. I know the questions stopped however, because she laid a warm blanket on me, closed yet another pastel curtain around me and called the doctor in to explain the procedure.

Next, my doctor pulls back the pastel curtain and sits on the end of my bed. “So, what are we doing today?” he asks.

Really? No one here knows why I am here today? Do you not write things down in that chart you carry around? Again, I explained my symptoms and why the test was being done. I said, “My food is ruminating on its own unrelated to my purging.”

“So you’re bulimic?” I just gave up on explaining and said yes. Why would it matter anyway? Clearly no one here understands EDs. The nurse stayed after the doctor left and started in with more inane commentary.

“If only we could get you to like yourself. Then you wouldn’t have to do this” she said, clearly referring to my eating disorder, “I wish I had enough willpower to have an eating disorder, but I love food too much. And this is coming from a fat person, but you’re not fat. I hope you’re seeing a professional about this. This isn’t something you can do your whole life. If you would just accept yourself this could all be behind you.” She went on and on without much acknowledgment on my part. Finally she got the hint that her insensitive comments and incorrect perceptions on EDs had struck a nerve and I did not want to talk about it anymore. Rather than let us sit there in silence waiting for the doctor to return, she decided to strike up another round of thrilling conversation. After rechecking the blood pressure cuff that was cutting off my circulation, she grabbed my wrist. “Whose initials are those?”

“No one’s actually. I think it is somewhat tacky to write other people’s names on your body. That word is oo-do-ge. It is the Cherokee word for hope.”

“Oh are you Cherokee?”

No lady, I just thought, “Wouldn’t it be cool to put Cherokee words that do not mean anything to me on my wrist? So I did.” I nodded and thought it was good that she did not see the NEDA symbol on my ankle.

“That’s cool. Do you know you can get scholarships for being Indian?”

“Yes, unfortunately, I do not have a record of my Cherokee lineage so I was unable to apply for those scholarships despite my being 1/8th Cherokee.” The angrier I get the more technical my vocabulary gets. I tend to try to stay level-headed during arguments by trying to find the right words to express my anger in a productive way.

Finally the doctor came in, gave me the sedation and I did not have to listen to their conversations anymore.

I woke up in yet another pastel room sitting next to my cousin Kylie. She, thankfully, was able to take me home that day and get me out of that doctor’s office.

I do not remember the doctor coming in after the procedure thanks to the drug induced stupor into which I was put. However, he gave me a paper with some pictures and said there was nothing wrong with me. The paper read “It is likely that her history of bulemia is contributing her to symptoms.” Seriously, bulEmia…he cannot even spell it!

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So I left the office with a huge medical bill, doctors/nurses who do not understand EDs, huge blood bruises on my arm where the blood pressure cuff was too tight, and no answers as to why my food is ruminating. On the bright side, nothing is wrong with me.

Isaiah 43:5

“Do not be afraid, for I am with you”

 

When your food gives you advice February 15, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — rheasofhope @ 3:40 pm
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I grew up trying to decode the hidden messages in my Rice Krispy cereal, as I was certain they were trying to tell me something; the commercials said they talked, and I believed it. I intently held my ear to the bowl listening to the snap, crackle and pop of the cereal to decipher the Morse code message it sent out. I would always determine that the cereal was singing happy songs or telling me to have a wonderful day at school.

As I grew older, my food gave me other messages. It told me many negative things that I do not feel are appropriate to put into print. Essentially, the carefree messages from my Rice Krispies turned into condescending, scathing messages that gave more power to ED. Eventually I learned to accept these ideas as truth. Recovery has taught me that it is ok to not listen to those negative messages. It is ok to eat. It is ok to stop when I am full. And it is perfectly acceptable to allow that food to remain in my stomach. Food does not have the power to tell me how I should feel.

That being said, yesterday my food sent me another message. My little sister (9 years younger than me) gave me a box of those chalky sweetheart conversation hearts. As much as they taste like sticks of chalk, I think they are delicious. Most of the candies had childish says such as, “text me” or “u r cute”. One candy, however, caught my attention. It said “U can do it”. I stopped. I thought. Yes, I CAN do it. Recovery is attainable. Full recovery is possible. And I can do it. I just have to keep putting in the daily effort to counter the negative messages ED sends me with the positive messages of recovery. I need to continue to do the next right thing for my recovery. Although I try not to listen to my food anymore, this was one message I could not ignore.

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My “U can do it” candy…but it is blurry because it is a cell phone photo

1 Corinthians 10:13

“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”

 

“You are valuable because you exist. Not because of what you do or what you have done, but simply because you are.” –Max Lucado

 

When you must be strong and courageous February 10, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — rheasofhope @ 10:43 pm
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My pulse quickens. I know this because I can feel it radiate in my hands as my pale fingers grip tighter around the black leather of the steering wheel. My breathing becomes more rapid and shallow. My attempts to regulate it with breath practices learned in yoga class do nothing to slow it. I want to scream, but I know it will not help the situation. I want to escape, but I am trapped. I am in a car wash.

Yes, I realize this is a very intense—if not ridiculous—reaction to being in a car wash, but hear me out please. Although I have been driving the same car, Little Red, for ten years, I have never once washed her. Coming from a background of limited means, I could never justify spending money on a car wash (or spending the money on water to wash it at home). I simply relied on rainstorms to wash Little Red. Last week, however, Little Red had become Little Casper due to the excessive amounts of road salt used by the Ohio Department of Transportation. I decided to splurge on an $8 car wash because I am kind of a neat freak, and Little Red’s appearance was driving me bonkers.

I pulled up to the car conveyor belt timidly, as I was sure I was not going to properly align my tires and therefore drive wildly into the abyss of the car wash. Panic began to settle in as my car, in neutral, and under the control of the car conveyor belt, started the journey into the dark recesses of the car wash.  Suddenly, soap coated my windows with opaque green foam; obscuring everything outside the car. I was petrified that I would hit either the car in front or behind me due to not being able to properly see. As my car crept ever so slowly through the soap, the water shower and the drying room; I began to understand why I was having such a severe reaction to a mundane errand. It is simply this, I was not in control. Nothing that occurred during that car wash was, in any way, under my direct control. That is what terrified me. This simple car wash forced me to confront my fear of a lack of control.

I have always been one to be “in charge”—the leader. I thrive on being in control, and that has trickled down to my ED. For so long, I have been trying to control my life through my ED; severely restricting food intake, abusing laxatives, and purging. I thought that if I could just control that aspect of my life, everything else would fall into place exactly as I had imagined. Wrong. What I ended up happening was a disease that, in an attempt to gain control, has stripped me of all control. While I still thought of myself as the one in power, it was ED who decided when/if I ate, where I went, with whom I associated myself, how frequently I purged, how long I would have to exercise in penance for eating, when I went to bed, and when I awoke the next morning…among so much more. In looking for control, I lost all semblance of it.

What I learned in the car wash was that it is ok to not be in control all of the time. Although I panicked, and was sure something bad was going to happen to me while I was not in control, everything turned out fine. I had to trust that the car conveyor belt would do its job and keep me safe. And, the wonderful thing is that it did. I experienced what it was like to not be in control and *shock* nothing terrible happened (despite what ED would lead me to believe). For so long I have been trapped by ED; trapped in the darkness of the car wash of life. I have learned I need to trust in God and His ability to help me through this disease, because there is an end to this disease. I will continue fighting ED’s control. I will stand up to ED and her demands. I will battle for recovery and see it through. I am learning to trust my strength.

Joshua 1:9

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.

Deuteronomy 31:6

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.

1 Peter 5:7

Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.

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Look how kinda clean she is now. It is amazing how well a 13 year old car can clean up to look decent.

 

When you are accused of making up an ED… February 4, 2013

“You know, you don’t have an eating disorder” she sighed assuredly–and with a hint of irritation–as she gently tapped her well-worn DSM-IV with her well manicured nails. I watched as it rested precariously on top of her pink and black yoga pants, which ended in her perfectly laced Nikes, while also hiding her perfectly toned thighs. She would, often times, wear her workout clothes to my session because she did not have time to change.

 

“I know” I said, absent-mindedly picking lint off of my paisley dress and pulling my cardigan tighter around my body. I secretly hated her for wearing workout clothes to my session. I did know one thing, though, I knew she was wrong.

 

“You don’t fit any of the criteria listed for Anorexia or Bulimia. Do I need to read them to you?” she asked with a tone of both sarcasm and pity; like I was pretending to have an eating disorder so I could sit in her office every Thursday afternoon of my senior year of college. Wrong. I had a lot of other things I would rather be doing  than sitting with her every week hearing lecture after lecture about how I do not “know myself”, and am subsequently “making myself have an eating disorder” because that is “just an avenue I’m trying out.”

 

“I know,” I said again; this time through clinched teeth. I forced myself to make the words come out evenly in tone despite the tears of anger that were welling in my eyes. I am not sure what stung more: the anger of being accused of faking an eating disorder or my anger at myself for allowing her to think she was right.

 

“So, what do you think is the REAL issue here?” she prodded as she took a sip of her Diet Coke, leaving coral lipstick prints on the straw.

 

“Honestly, the real issue is that you refuse take my concerns seriously,” I wanted to scream, but I ended up just shrugging my shoulders in defeat. Maybe I am making it up? Maybe I am imagining my symptoms? After all, I did not tell her about my purging, and, although I was restricting, I was still at a higher than normal weight. If she was not going to listen to my concerns, why would I want to tell her about my behaviors? So, I conceded to her false accusations. And, in doing so, I allowed ED a temporary victory as well.

 

I ended therapy with her believing I was making up my eating disorder as an affectation of sorts to hold me over “until I discovered who I really was”. I was, subsequently, lead to believe that I was eating like a “normal” person, with intermittent bouts of purging, restricting, overexercise, and laxative abuse. I still wonder why I let myself fall into the trap of believing she was right, and why I put off treatment for so long.

 

But that is not the important part. The important part is this, 1) why wasn’t she educated on ED-NOS (eating disorder not otherwise specified) and 2) I went to Lindner Center of HOPE, and got an actual diagnosis that lead me to the treatment I needed…despite what she wanted me to believe.

 

For those unfamiliar with ED-NOS, it is commonly thought to be the most diagnosed eating disorder in clinical settings. Additionally, despite what my former therapist tried to tell me, it is in the DSM-IV along with a list of certain behaviors it can encompass. However, it also states that there are other behaviors that would fall in the category of ED-NOS, but could not all be included in the DSM-IV. Including all ED-NOS behaviors would be far too exhaustive to put into writing, and may still not include all the possible behaviors due to the individuality of each person’s disordered eating. Essentially, in the easiest to understand language, ED-NOS consists of disordered eating patterns that meet some or most of the criteria for Anorexia Nervosa or Bulimia Nervosa but not all criteria are not met. Meaning, a person could have severely disordered eating but, because they don’t meet one or more of the criterion for Anorexia or Bulimia, they will not be able to receive a diagnosis of an eating disorder. This further results in this person not being able to get the treatment they need, get their insurance to pay for services required, as well as allowing the eating disordered person to think that his or her disordered eating is nothing to worry about (like I ended up doing before I received the treatment I needed). By not having a diagnosis of an eating disorder: sufferers miss out on necessary treatment that could save their lives, they miss out on medical testing that could prevent certain ED-caused/related conditions from getting worse, and it allows their eating disorder to continue dominating their lives.

 

Additionally, due to society’s misunderstanding of the complexity of behaviors and medical severity of ED-NOS, it is often not taken as seriously as the more well-known eating disorders of Anorexia and Bulimia. Medial professionals may not recognize the symptoms of ED-NOS, or may not understand that ED-NOS is just as life-threatening as Anorexia and Bulimia. Suffers of ED-NOS may not think they are “sick enough” to warrant treatment as they do not fall into the specific diagnosis of Anorexia or Bulimia; having a diagnosis of ED-NOS may seem like a non-issue. Thus allowing the eating disorder to flourish and steal their health. And, those sufferers who do understand that their eating patterns are disordered, may be steered away from treatment by people assuring them that they do not have an eating disorder or by those implying that ED-NOS is not serious.

 

I am here to tell you this, ALL disordered eating needs to be taken seriously both by people with the disordered eating and those medical professionals involved in their lives. Families and friends need to be aware of the multifaceted world of ED-NOS as well, so they are better able to support and encourage the recovery of their loved ones. Most of all, though, if you or someone you know is struggling with suspected or known eating disordered behavior, there is help available. The National Eating Disorders Association has a 24-hour confidential helpline, staffed by trained professionals, which can be accessed by caregivers, friends, family, medical professionals, and those individuals with eating disordered behavior. The helpline’s number is (800) 931-2237. However, if you would prefer an even more anonymous route, an instant messaging version of the helpline can be found at http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/information-referral-helpline. Furthermore their website (nationaleatingdisorders.org) offers many free and reliable resources on eating disorders that can be used at any time.

 

Remember, despite what society or ill-advised yet well-meaning medical professionals may say, you know your body better than anyone else. Stand up for yourself, your health and your recovery. You deserve to live eating disorder free. You are worth living a life of love, grace and joy. There is hope. There is help. Recovery is possible for EVERYone.

 

Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

 

Take a moment for you February 1, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — rheasofhope @ 10:22 pm
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Whenever I need to clear my head of all the ED thoughts, anxiety and all the other stuff that bounces around in my mind…I grab my camera and head outside. I often take for granted the beauty of God’s creations as I go through daily life. I never really stop to take in the complexity of the things around me. I simply keep my head down and race to wherever it is I have to go. However, when taking photos, I am forced to to slow down. To take in the world around me as it exists that very minute. To remind me that I am part of this marvelous creation called life; and that I deserve to see not only the beauty of this creation, but the beauty in myself. To me, photography reminds me that everyone can see the world in whatever way they choose; and all of those ways have their own individual viewpoint. You can angle the shot, add or subtract color, zoom in or out, etc. Photography allows you to see the world in a way that is uniquely your own. You can then share your own unique view of the world with others.

Recently, as an act of defiance against ED, I set out to the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden to remind myself of the astounding grace and beauty that is life. Here are some of my favorite photos for the day. I hope that when you look at them, you are able to remind yourself that you are a beautiful and integral part of the complexity of life. Even in the dark moments, there is light to be found. Never forget that. There is always hope. You are worth it. Remember to be present in life and embrace the beauty with which you have been created as well as the beauty that surrounds you.
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Psalms 104: 19-25

“He made the moon to mark the seasons, and the sun knows when to go down. You bring darkness, it becomes night, and all the beasts of the forest prowl. The lions roar for their prey and seek their food from God. The sun rises, and they steal away; they return and lie down in their dens. Then people go out to their work, to their labor until evening.How many are your works, Lord!  In wisdom you made them all;  the earth is full of your creatures. There is the sea, vast and spacious, teeming with creatures beyond number— living things both large and small.”