In a few days, National Eating Disorder Awareness Week will kick off. I am always blown away by the power, the emotion, the dedication of so many who participate in this week through speaking, writing, creative events through multimedia and more. So many have been touched by eating disorders and the disordered eating spectrum. And that includes you.
Eating Disorders and the Disordered Eating Spectrum continue to be misunderstood, glamorized and minimized. The truth of the matter is, you know someone struggling with their relationship with food and/or their body.
Everybody knows somebody.
You know somebody.
Food and body issues are tricky. They are sneaky and sly and operate under the guise of health and productivity or laziness and undiscipline. Be very clear: eating disorders are killing and disabling at rates that are scary. Eating disorders are the most deadly of all mental illnesses. Do not let someone you know be another statistic.
You know someone on the diet roller coaster or obsessed about eating healthy to such an extreme their lives have become a prison to irrational fear, rigidity and control.
You know somebody who repeatedly talks negatively about their body and believes their worth and value are directly correlated to the number on the scale.
You know somebody who is depressed, anxious, suicidal because they feel so out of control with their behaviors and thoughts about food and their body.
You know somebody who is slowly dying inside physically, emotionally and spiritually.
You know somebody who wants to be loved and seen beyond their looks, their grades, their performance, their weight, what they eat. You know someone who wants to be seen. Period.
You know somebody in this kind of pain.
And there is hope and healing available for those who want to live their lives in peace and joy. I get to work with the most amazing professionals at Potentia and at treatments centers around the country who are passionate about helping people heal from their eating disorder.
Eating disorders are complex and their causes reflect this complexity: genetics, family of origin issues, culture, temperament, physiological issues, traumatic events and more. There is not a quick fix and no one to blame but the sooner someone starts the process to change, the better for their long term prognosis.
You know someone who needs to begin this journey. Now.
Resources like edreferral and Gurze are wonderful sites to find practitioners at all levels of care who specialize in treating the whole spectrum of food and body issues. Gurze is also a publishing company dedicated to provided resources on these issues. I would also check out The National Eating Disorder Association. I love the commitment of the NEDA team and value their role in starting and promoting National Eating Disorder Awareness Week. Hang out at these websites. Learn something new. And share it with someone you know.
Potentia joins the many individuals, families, treatment centers and providers in promoting eating disorder awareness. At Potentia, we will be doing a week long event asking people to write on a piece of paper (we have cool artsy paper, pens and more for those who want to get creative) an apology to their body or a thank you to their body. We will hang these note cards around the space and make a slide show of them at the end of the week.
If you want to contribute to this event, feel free to stop by and add your contribution to our display. And if you live far away, feel free to send me an email and I will make sure your words are added.
Sororities and other local groups are already contributing. I would love to add your voice to this display. And all contributions can be anonymous.
Our hope is this display gets everyone thinking a little more about the seriousness of disordered eating and helps those struggling know they are not alone.
And yes, to be clear, you know somebody. Now it is time to talk about it.
How are you going to use your voice during eating disorder awareness week?