Last week was National Eating Disorders Week and according to NEDA, it was a record breaking success as far as rising awareness. It is really encouraging to know that this disease is starting to be acknowledged by more people. I had a great experience last weekend at the First Annual NEDA Walk in Tampa Bay, Florida. My friend and sister in recovery, was the coordinator of the event. Bailey is 17 and is a true champ. She and I were in treatment together at University of California San Diego. We didn't know each other before the week of treatment, but we have definitely been close ever since. She raised over $30,000 for treatment and research. It was so empowering to watch her speak of her recovery in front of so many people and then to have us lead the pack of walkers. It was truly incredible to see how many people came to support the cause. It's amazing how much life can change so quickly. My spiral downward into depression and restriction seemed to go from normal to life-threatening in a blink...but then to look back and see how far we have come, is incredible! The freedom I felt walking with Bailey was surreal.
We marched through the park remembering stories from our past. We reminisced on our days in rehab, thinking of our worst times. We remember the horror of Bailey's meatball sub, and my terrifying quesadilla...and then laughed histarically because we have new minds now. We can now see out of the trenches we were trapped in. We can now giggle at the silly habits we were so obsessed with. When fully recovery is in reach, there comes a point where you can feel joy through the terrible things that have happened. I'm not saying that it is to be mocked or that people who struggle don't have a right to feel the way they do...but when recovery is achieved, it feels good to be able to find humor in being afraid of a quesadilla!
Overall, National Eating Disorders Week seemed very successful. I am so proud of those who are taking the necessary steps to begin recovery and continue the process. I am so excited to see how awareness continues to spread!
D and K