RheasOfHope

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

When you ask for help May 21, 2015

Seated on a borrowed bike, I continued to pedal despite the South Carolina humidity and the fact that I was sweating out of body parts I didn’t know were capable of sweating. What had been described to me as a “quick, easy bike ride to the beach” was turning into the 2012 Tour de Hilton Head, and I was a female Lance Armstrong (minus the steroids). I had followed the signs along the sidewalk that pointed to the beach, but had, somehow, become lost along the way…VERY lost. My sister was behind me asking me to stop; more like pleading for me to ask for directions. However, I continued on; determined to find my way to the beach without asking for help.
Half an hour later, and, as we could come to find out, twelve miles in the wrong direction, I finally stopped at the guard station to an apartment complex to ask for directions. I unceremoniously dumped the bike on the sidewalk and handed the last of our water to my sister before approaching the security guard for directions. I, typically, am able to create a good rapport with elderly people—this man, however, was NOT having it. Before I was able to ask for directions, he barked, “Get that bike off my sidewalk; people walk there.” I went back to move the bike to the grass, then returned to his station.
“Hello…” I looked at his name tag hoping that adding his name to the question would make him nicer, “Albert. My sister and I were looking for the beach when we got really lost, and we…”

“You’re way off girls. Not even close. Just follow those signs back to where you came from” he said as if my mere presence was inconveniencing him; as if he meant to say “Be gone peasants.”
“Sir, I would really just like to rest for a moment. We came all the way from the stables. I would just like to stay here until my cousin can come pick us up.” The old man was unmoved by my statement, but allowed us to stay until my cousin arrived with a pick-up truck to collect me, my sister, and our bikes.
So, why tell a story like this? Because, as I move along in recovery, I recognize how events such as this one mirror my own journey in recovery. Hear me out on this one…
When I was an 8-year-old girl constantly being bullied for my weight, my poverty, my brains, my clothes, and just about anything else kids would find to pick on, food became an escape; somewhere I could go that the pain wouldn’t follow me. I ate to numb, to shove down emotions, to find friendship, to search for love and acceptance…and I ate and I ate and I ate. For, roughly, the next ten years, I continued turning to food to “cope”. I continued on that path, just as I had continued down the bike path, in the wrong direction. What I had originally turned to to alleviate my pain, had only clouded my path; causing me to become lost in an eating disorder. Instead of helping myself, all the eating was only masking and exacerbating the pain. And yet, I continued down that wrong path, insisting to myself that I knew where I was going and what I was doing.

When I entered my first year of college, I was convinced that the only way to help myself was, again, through food…so I began restricting as a means to reach the “right path”. The restricting, again, only served to get me more lost and continue to distance me from the life I desired. However, people began to give me positive attention. I was lauded for my “weight loss”, my “control”, my “dedication”, my “discipline”, and a whole bunch of other adjectives that described my eating disorder, but not Rhea. I thought, though, that maybe these people were on to something; that maybe my eating disorder would be a ticket back to the right path that would get me to where I wanted to be. So I kept restricting. It was then that I realized I had no clue as to what my “right path” was. However, my eating disorder convinced me that my “right path” was towards sickness…and so I followed it miles out of my way; away from my dreams, friends, family, ambitions, happiness, and, most of all, away from health.

After three years of restricting, I got bored with my eating disorder, and felt I was no closer towards finding the right path. Naturally, I returned back to food. “This time will be different,” I told myself, “This time I will be able to find my way out of the muck and onto the right path.” Thus began purging, over-exercise, self-harming, and laxative abuse; as well as seeing a “counselor” who refused to admit I have an eating disorder. I feel this mirrors the point where I asked the old man for directions; it was merely a holding area. I definitely wasn’t going towards recovery or the right path towards health, but I didn’t have any clear signs on how to get there either.

After working with Lindner, my current (amazing) therapist, Thom Rutledge, and doing lots of HARD work, I have a clearer idea of the right path. My “right path” includes: teaching, writing, photography, working for an eating disorder treatment center, treating myself well, and leading a mentally healthier life. It does not include my eating disorder. I no longer self-harm or use laxatives. I am eating more and have drastically reduced the frequency of my purging. Asking for help, in both of these experiences, was the wisest and healthiest thing I could have done. Does that mean it was easy? Hell no! Asking for help is one of the hardest things (aside from recovery itself) that I have ever done. At the same time, asking for help is, singlehandedly, the best thing I have ever done in my recovery. Don’t be afraid to ask for help; it may just end up saving your life…I know it did for me.

Psalm 107:28-30

Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress. He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. They were glad when it grew calm, and he guided them to their desired haven.

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When you decide to celebrate with kindness/100th Post November 11, 2014

Normally, I do not advertise my random acts of kindness…as I feel that is a little narcissistic to go around bragging about how I have helped people, and I wish for my acts of kindness to mirror this scripture, “Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” (Matthew 6:1-4)

However, with today being the FIFTH anniversary of my decision to begin working on recovery, I’m actually going to reveal some of my acts of kindness…because that is how I chose to honor the day. To celebrate five years since I asked for help in recovering from my eating disorder, I decided to do five random acts of kindness.

I began the day by writing five letters in cards.

cards

The very first card I wrote to the intake eating disorders coordinator at the Lindner Center of Hope. He was the very first medical professional to diagnose me with an eating disorder (most had written me off due to my size) and helped me find my current therapist when we discovered my insurance wouldn’t pay for treatment at Lindner. I also purchased some beautiful flowers to deliver to the clients in the eating disorders program to remind them of the beauty that exists within and around them. The receptionist at the front desk looked a little confused when I dropped off a bouquet of white roses to a man…at a mental health treatment facility. Thankfully, she took the flowers, and said she would let him know that she had them at her desk.

flowersLindner

 

Two cards were to be placed in the eating disorder/self-help section of my local bookstores. I carefully placed the cards between books I have found especially helpful in my recovery (Life Without Ed by Jenni Schaefer and Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia by Marya Hornbacher [some people do find this book very triggering, however, so proceed with caution])  in hopes that they would be found by the people who needed them.

bookcardBookstore

 

The last two cards were a little bit harder to figure out…inside of each I wrote:

card

At my favorite coffee house this morning, after paying for a stranger’s latte, I handed her the first card. She seemed a bit alarmed, at first, that a complete stranger would pay for her coffee, and even tried to scan her phone after I had already paid for her. However, she seemed to figure it out once I handed her the card. On my way out of the door, she called after me, “Thanks for my coffee. You made my morning. It’s been a rough day and it isn’t even 9 o’clock.”

The second card, in which I had placed $5, was left in the bathroom of one of my favorite restaurants because I didn’t have the courage to hand it to an actual person. There’s something completely terrifying to me in handing a card to a stranger; let alone accepting one.

When I came back from the bathroom–from completing my fifth random act of kindness–I noticed a Korean war veteran and his wife eating dinner. Being the granddaughter of a Korean war veteran, I have a soft spot in my heart for anyone who served in that war (especially since they might have had the opportunity to meet my grandfather who died six months before I was born). When the waiter dropped off my check to my sister and me, I quietly asked for his check, paid and left. I can only hope this man knows how much I truly appreciate his service.

So, what ended up being five random acts of kindness in honor of my five year anniversary of asking for help, turned into six…and challenged me to actually say something nice about myself on a public platform…made me realize how much I want recovery. I’ve been on this path for five years and cannot wait until I get to “full recovery”. Recovery is REAL! Recovery is POSSIBLE!

 

 

Matthew 25:35-40

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’  Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?  When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

 

When it is your Recovery Anniversary November 12, 2013

Four years ago, I made a decision that drastically altered the path of my life; a decision that, ultimately, would lead me towards the path to recovery. But first, the really scary, really awkward, really intimidating initial step.

 

I stepped silently down the creaky basement stairs in the old house my college had converted into an office space. My boss had told me I should speak to one of her other workers about “my problem”; “she could really help you” she said. At the bottom of the stairs I saw Miranda (name changed to protect privacy), her brown bangs escaping her pixie cut as she sat in the floor putting together a display for the farmers’ market.

 

“Hey Rhea,” she said cheerfully with her typical enthusiasm and broad smile, “What’s up?”

 

I sat crossed legged on the floor near her as silently as I had crept down the stairs, admiring her work while picking at my nails. I noticed the vibrant blue of her eyes and the beauty of her tattoos as we sat there in awkward silence. I took a deep breath, “Miranda, the reason I came here today is that I spoke with Lynn (our boss, whose name has also been changed) and she said we might share some similar experiences. And I was just wondering if I could ask for your help because Lynn said you would be open to helping people like me and I just don’t know what to do because therapy isn’t working and Renée (my therapist, name not changed) doesn’t believe me that I’m sick and I am just so confused” I rambled in one long sentence while fighting back tears. I had done it; I admitted my disease to someone and things were never going to be the same…but for a positive this time. Miranda, the angel that she is, did not judge; she took my frightened, college student self under her wing and mentored me towards recovery for the next sixth months. And, on November 21, 2011 even though we had not spoken in months, she helped me through the anxiety and fear of my intake evaluation at the Lindner Center of Hope.

 

On November 11, 2009 I asked Miranda for help for a disease I had let rule my life for at least ten years. On November 11, 2009 I took the first step to recovery…to freedom.

Since that date:

I have drastically limited the frequency of my purging.

I have moved…three times.

I have quit using laxatives.

I graduated from college, received my teaching license, started work on a special education master’s degree, got at reading endorsement for my teaching license, and served two years in Americorps*.

I got my two recovery tattoos…and had one reworked

I have quit self-harming.

I have re-found my love of photography and writing.

I have upped the amount of calories I have a day.

I had an EKG and endoscopy…and became vegetarian.

I reached out to and made friends with the wonderfully beautiful and strong Meredith.

I have attended therapy sessions.

I have learned that my self-worth is not AT ALL correlated to my size.

I have learned that Ed never ever speaks the truth.

I started this blog and had it featured in NEDA’s blogroll.

I have given presentations and written articles to destigmatize EDs.

I participated in the NEDA walk in Washington DC…my first trip to our nation’s capital.

I have emailed the Secretary of State about passing bills and amendments that support research and funding to ED awareness.

I have continued with my passion of educating children.

I have gone to symphonies, weddings, museums, zoos, concerts, beaches, mountains and unfamiliar cities.

I have begun to separate myself from Ed…and I have never been happier or healthier.

Psalm 34:8 and 18

8: Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him

18: The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit

 

When it is National Bullying Awareness Month… October 22, 2013

            In recognition of National Bullying Prevention month (October, here in the states), I would like to share some information on bullying that I gained by attending an “Evening with the Experts” presentation held by the Lindner Center of Hope (LCOH). The LCOH is “is a nonprofit, mental health center staffed by a diverse team, united in the philosophy that by working together, we can best offer hope for people living with mental illness. The patient and family are at the center of our treatment, education and research. Lindner Center of HOPE provides patient-centered, scientifically-advanced care for individuals suffering with mental illness and specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of: Mood Disorders, Eating Disorders, Anxiety Disorders, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Addictive Disorders, and Co-occurring Psychiatric Disorders” (as taken from their mission statement).

 

            A study performed by the Bully Project discovered that EVERY day approximately 160,000 students skip school for fear of encountering their bully; that’s 21% of the child population in the United States. However, many well-meaning adults do not understand the various forms bullying can take in today’s society.

 

            Another study, performed by the Youth Voice Project, stated many reasons for which students were bullied: 55% were bullied because of their looks, 37% were bullied due to their body shape, 16% were bullied for their race, 14% were targeted due to his or her sexual orientation, 13% were bullied because of their family’s income, 12% were targeted due to religion and 8% were bullied due to a real or perceived disability.

 

            As presented by Dr. Tracy Cummings, staff psychiatrist at the LCOH, there are five distinct types of bullying:

 

1)      Verbal- takes the form of: name calling, demeaning nicknames, teasing, taunting, sexual comments, hate speech, mocking, note writing/texting, and prank phone calls. Targets of bullying often internalize these verbal messages from bullying and come to believe them as truth.

2)      Physical- takes the form of: pinching, hitting, kicking, pushing, tripping, spitting, posturing (intimidation), taking/breaking possessions, sexual intimidation and intruding upon personal space. Fortunately, if there is a fortunately in this situation, physical bullying can very easily travel through the legal system as assault.

3)      Social/Relational- takes the form of: exclusion of self/others, spreading rumors, telling secrets, embarrassing someone in public, whispering about others, and imitating. Rather than being an assault on the body—as with physical bullying—social bullying is an assault on a target’s character and is, therefore, harder to see outwardly.

4)      Extortion- is the use of force or threats to get something from the target; either a physical object, an action (such as doing homework or stealing for the bully) or to make any other gain by the bully.

5)      Cyberbullying- takes the form of: email, texts, instant messages, cell phones, chat room, online journals/blogs, websites, digital photos and social media. These forms of bullying can either be attacks on a certain target or exclusion of a target. A study from the CyberbullyingResearchCenter shows that 50% of school-age children have experienced some form of cyberbullying; with 10-20% of those students experiencing the bullying on a regular basis.

 

Dr. Cummings also presented warning signs to look for in students (and even adults) who you may suspect to be the target of bullying:

            Obvious signs of bullying

                        1) physical marks on the target of bullying such as scratches, bruises or other indications of violence

                        2) the target of bullying is missing items

                        3) the target of bullying discloses the bullying (this happens VERY rarely)

            Subtle signs of bullying

                          1)      the target of bullying asks questions about bullying or asks for advice on how to handle situations with bullies

                          2)      the target has somatic complaints (physical symptoms such as stomach aches, headaches or other pains that have no obvious                                            medical cause are often brought on by the stress and emotional toll put on the target by the bully)

                          3)      the target makes self-degrading comments—often the same ones they hear about themselves from the bully/bullies

                          4)      the target refuses to attend school

 

The effects, according to Dr. Cummings, of bullying include the following:

            -fear

            -depression

            -anxiety

            -school refusal

            -maladaptive social interactions

            -compromised educational/job opportunities

            -dysfunctional relationships (targets will not allow positive relationships to form for fear it may develop into bullying)

            -substance abuse/dependency

            -criminality

            -change in sleeping patters (either too much or too little)

            -variance in eating patters (either too much or too little)

            -death (homicide and/or suicide)

 

 

Dr. Cummings also offered many strategies for appropriate interventions.

 

            How to intervene as an adult:

            1)      Listen

            2)      Assess safety

            3)      Demand action 

                   a. Review the school’s bullying policy, bring up concerns with the principal, take legal action if necessary

                   b. Document all instances of bullying

            4)      Stay (or get) involved in ending the bullying

            5)      Build a social network to end the bullying and support the target’s wellbeing

            6)      Maintain a follow-up to ensure the bullying is ending

 

              How to intervene as a child:

              1)      Be empowered- leave a potentially dangerous situation, befriend the target, do not join the bullying, report bullying to an adult

              2)      Act safely

              3)      Act positively

 How to empower targets of bullying: 

             1) let them know you are listening

              2) let them know they do not deserve to be treated the way the bully treats them

              3) Let them know they have the right to leave the situation

              4) Let them know that you are there for support and encouragement 

 

On a personal note, as a target of bullying myself, I know the damaging effects it can have both in the moment the bullying takes places and continuing on into the target’s adult life. These experiences with bullying are one of the many reasons why I started this blog. 

 

Below are some links not noted above that are very valuable toward ending bullying:

1) stopbullying.gov

2) dosomething.org has a “Bully Text” campaign on their website which offers information and an informative, text-based simulation

3) Embrace Civility, a program offered for parents and schools

4) Pacer’s National Bullying Prevention Center

 

Psalm 94:16-19

“Who will rise up for me against the wicked? Who will take a stand for me against evildoers? Unless the Lord had given me help, I would soon have dwelt in the silence of death. When I said, ‘My foot is slipping,’ your unfailing love, Lord, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.”

 

 

When you attend a lecture and get a gift from your sister August 20, 2013

Last week I went to an amazing presentation held by the Lindner Center of Hope featuring a lecture by Dr. Chris Tuell entitled “The Addictive Brain and Co-occurring Disorders”. Although the lecture focused mainly on substance, gambling and internet addictions, Dr. Tuell brought up many points that, I believe, can be applied to eating disorder recovery as well as life in general.

 

Firstly, Dr. Tuell described addictions (and yes, eating disorders are addictions) as following a “Three C’s and a T” model:

C- Loss of Control

C-Compulsion

C-Continued use despite the negative consequences

T-Thinking (obsessions)

 

I think treating eating disorders using this addiction model is very helpful for both those who suffer from the disease and those assisting him or her in recovery. Not only are eating disorders a loss of control in terms of thoughts and behaviors (contrary to what society believes), but they soon exercise control over your entire life; including parts of your life you thought were not in danger of being taken over by the eating disorder.  These diseases are compulsions—you feel compelled to engage in thoughts and behaviors even though, consciously or subconsciously, you know they are irrational and unhealthy–continued in the face of negative consequences (and believe me, there are PLENTY of negative consequences and I have experienced many of them) and have many obsessive thoughts. Once both the sufferer and society view eating disorders as addictions rather than brief illnesses in the pursuit of vanity, we can get serious about getting the necessary help and treatment available to all that need it.

 

Dr. Tuell also related a story of when he participated in a blindfolded rope maze as part of an educational experience. Dr. Tuell and his fellow doctors attending the educational session, were blindfolded and told to find their way through a maze made from rope by walking through the maze holding on to the waist-high ropes to guide them—as they did not have the benefit of being able to see the path to the end of the maze. There were only two rules 1) you must keep the blindfold on at all times and 2) if you need help, raise your hand and we will help you. Dr. Tuell expressed his frustration when the maze facilitators would call out that another one of his colleagues made it through the maze while he was still desperately grabbing at ropes trying to find his way to the end of the maze. After twenty, then thirty, then forty minutes, Dr. Tuell’s hand when up and a facilitator came over to ask what he needed.

 

I’m sure you are thinking exactly what I was thinking at this point, “Ok, the good doctor was in a rope maze forever and finally gave up,” but you have probably also added, “and why is Rachel telling me about this now?” Well, simply put, Dr. Tuell’s blindfolded rope maze is very metaphoric of recovery. We go through this blindfolded rope maze of recovery without any clear objective other than to get to the end–which is, of course, recovery. We hear shouts of others as they get to the end, and use it as proof that we are hopeless and will never make it to the end. However, we continue working at finding our way; determined we will get to the end eventually. And even though we know we can get the help we need by asking for it, we are determined to “do it on our own”; after all asking for help is a sign of weakness, isn’t it (it’s not, by the way). Finally, fueled by frustration and self-hatred for not being able to make it to the end, you raise your hand and proclaim, “I need help!” You say it out loud, with pride in your voice and the security of knowing that you do not—and cannot—make it to the end alone. There is no shame in asking for help. If Dr. Tuell had not asked for help, he may still be trying to find his way out of the rope maze and would not have made it to the lecture at all. Asking for help is a strength that few people posses; it is a strength to acknowledge your need for help and find ways to go about getting what you need. I don’t know–and don’t care to know–where I would be had I not sought out both professional and personal help for my eating disorder. Ask for help. You are worth it.

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My little sister bought me this bracelet. It says “I am enough” and has the date 11-11-09 (the date I admitted I need more help; that I cannot do this alone)

Psalms 29:11

The Lord gives strength to His people;  the Lord blesses His people with peace.

 

When you get a tattoo…redone July 6, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — rheasofhope @ 10:51 pm
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While reclining on the black leather dentist-esque chair, I pull my legs into my usual “indian style” sitting position and tug at my tribal print maxi dress to conceal my legs. Ted, my tattoo artist, chats over the whirring din of the tattoo machine. The whole experience is oddly relaxing. He asks me if I am doing ok; apparently tattoos are supposed to hurt. I say that I am doing ok (no pain at all, actually), and joke about the scars over which he is tattooing. “I don’t know if you see those scars,” I laugh, “but I have done a lot more harm to myself than anything you could be doing now.”

I decided that there is no shame in revealing the struggle it took to get to where I am today, and I opened up about my past of depression, self-harm and eating disorders. I explain that the tattoo is the Cherokee word for Hope (oo-du-ge-gv-di). My paternal grandfather (of whom I am an almost exact copy) was half-Cherokee; thus the significance of the Cherokee syllabary. I chose the word hope for two reasons: 1) the most obvious reason being that I began my recovery journey by getting an intake eval at the Lindner Center of HOPE in my hometown and 2) to remind myself to always hold on to hope despite what may lie ahead. I had gotten the original tattoo two years ago, but was less than satisfied with the results. In the end, when I looked at my new tattoo, I was happier than I thought could be possible. The fuzziness of the original was gone. The ink was vibrant again. The tattoo was actually centered on my wrist. Basically, there is no real “message” in this post, as I often try to put into my posts. I just wanted to share my wonderful new-ish tattoo.

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The old fuzzy, off-center, incomplete tattoo (and some tomatoes from my garden). I forgot to take a before photo.

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The “in progress” photo…still incomplete, but getting there.

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The day after. I was taking a break from lesson planning by relaxing at the creek with a Thom Rutledge podcast. Although still not healed, it is on its way…kind of like me. I am not healed/recovered yet, but, one day, I will be. 

2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.

 

 

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