This week I have been thinking a lot about clients that I've worked with who were or are living with eating disorders. Eating disorders make a lot of promises. They might promise happiness, thinness, strength, fulfillment, acceptance, safety, or numbness from unimaginable pain.
Unfortunately, they often deliver a much darker reality. When people choose to seek treatment for eating disorders, it is often because they are afraid. What can start out as appealing, seemingly benign rituals can often morph into a kind of cage, leaving little to no room for relationships, creativity, or activities that used to have meaning. Eating disorders can leave people with loneliness, lies, fear, obsession, and ultimately death.
It takes so much courage to admit to being in pain. It take so much persistence to decide that enough is enough. It takes tremendous faith and trust to reject the promises of an eating disorder and believe that a life worth living can be better achieved in recovery.
Recovery is possible. It's rarely a straight line, and sometimes it's not immediate. But I've absolutely been honored to witness clients stake their claims on life and, with support, hoist themselves forward into a richer life.
So this eating disorder awareness week, I encourage you to think about your relationship with food and your body. I encourage you to reach out to someone you may be worried about. I encourage you to check the body talk and remember that eating disorders impact EVERYONE, including men, older adults, people of color, and individuals of any weight range.
I highly recommend exploring the NEDA website. There you will find resources for screening, for friends and family, and for seeking treatment. And as always, I invite you to follow up with any questions.
Writing this with a full heart and tremendous awe for the badass warriors I have known.