National Eating Disorder Awareness week is always the last week in Febuary and has become an important part of my life each year. Several years ago as part of my recovery, I decided to hold a 5K event to raise money for the National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA) in an attempt to spread awareness of the deadliest mental illness. I nearly lost my life to my eating disorder and truly have the desire to shed a light of hope on mental disorders.
A few months ago I received an email from a representative at Sovereign Health who caught a glimpse of my story and asked if they could interview me for an article. I agreed simply to share my story, not knowing that I would be officially honored during NEDAwareness week this year! I feel so touched and blessed to be able to have my story expand to other reaches of the country (and the world). The article was published and I still feel weird seeing my picture and story published on a nationally recognized site. However the responses so far have been overwhelming. I feel an outpouring of love and support from friends, family, and followers.
So I ask this to you to take a moment for Eating Disroder Awareness:
First, read the interview. My story covers details of a dark past and how I lost sight of the dreams I had as a child. The interview, titled; “Recovery Next Door: Learning to live in recovery from an eating disorder without shame” expands on my recovery process, which is an important key for anyone struggling with a mental illness.
Second, take a moment to think of someone in your own life who may be struggling. Maybe it’s your sibling, mother, dear friend, or even yourself. Take a second to send them a message, or give them a call, just to say hello. A single gesture to show you care can go a long way to someone who might feel completely alone.
Lastly, participate in NEDAwareness week which is the last week in Febuary each year! Use the hashtag #NEDAwareness and use their shareable graphics and images on social media. You can share the article, you can share this page, you can share information on eating disorders found on the NEDA website. There are also local events in every state all week long. Just search their sites event page.
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My message is HOPE. It has always been hope. Hope for the future, hope for recovery, hope for happiness, hope for triumph. I quote one of my favorite movies, A Knights Tale, when I say: “Hope guides me. It’s what get’s me through the day, and especially the night.” If this rings true for you, I promise you, it always rings true for me. Now that I consider myself recovered, my hope shifts towards my dreams of the Seven Summits. My hope shines on my current day-to-day as I complete my degree, and hope that I can find time and energy to train once this enormous assignment is over. One day at a time, let hope be your guide.