At some point in my recovery from binge-eating disorder (B.E.D.) I started to feel so good that I wanted to shout it from the rooftops. I started writing my book. I attended workshops on overcoming eating disorders, wrote letters to recovered authors that I admired, assisted a Pennsylvania senator with an early draft of a new eating disorder legislation, and spoke at an event at my graduate school during National Eating Disorders Awareness Week. Even now, although I’m less involved in the recovery community than I once was, I still feel the need to reach out to others through this blog. I’m not listing these things to toot my own horn, but to share with my readers how reaching out can be immensely helpful.
Reaching out through outreach efforts gave me self-confidence and a sense of pride in all I had accomplished on my journey to recovery from B.E.D. It helped me practice my public speaking skills and narrow down my thoughts on what was most helpful and important in recovery. To my surprise, the years of agony that I endured while stuck in B.E.D., have led to countless moments of peace, joy, and health (which you’ll note is my closing line of each post).
Reaching out to others may begin with just joining a support group in which you share your struggles. It may start with seeing a counselor or a nutritionist. It may begin with you telling your loved ones how much you’ve been struggling to break free from disordered eating and low self-esteem. Once the healing of recovery begins, though, I imagine you’ll want others to know that they, too, can break free and live at peace.
Next month we will celebrate National Eating Disorders Awareness Week. The theme of the week this year is, “Everybody knows somebody”. It’s sad, but at this point, everybody knows somebody (who knows somebody) who has struggled with disordered eating or distorted body image. Since that is true, there is an even greater need for those of who are recovering or recovered to reach out and share our stories.
How will you begin to reach out?
Peace, joy, and health!