This week is a rather important week. If you don’t know already it’s Eating Disorder Awareness Week (Mon 24th Feb – Sun 2nd March 2014) and I’ve made a provisional goal with myself to at least aim to post on my blog every day until Sunday. Whether I fulfill this or not is yet to be found out as I do simultaneously have a bit of a crazy working week on the go, but I’ll definitely try my best! So here we go Day 1…
It’s a strange thing; as much as I feel in a way this week should be a national celebratory event of raising awareness, spreading positive messages and useful information as well as promoting supportive agencies and resources where those affected by eating disorders can seek help and advice, my brain feels slightly empty. Fantastic organisations such B–eat and NEDA (National Eating Disorder Association) have their specific themes such as ‘I Had No Idea‘ and ‘Sock it to Eating Disorders’ to help raise money and awareness, but somehow I feel a little lost and unfocused.
I guess I’m trying to figure out what Eating Disorder Awareness Week – or EDAW 2014 – means to me, because in a way it doesn’t feel too much different to what I’m doing already and I’m not quite sure what my purpose in all this is. I’ve made the decision to commit to blogging every Tuesday about my thoughts & experiences, I have plans to write a memoir style book and I use my Twitter account predominantly to tweet and share relevant news pieces, videos, blogs, (including my own) and words of wisdom (I hope) on eating disorders, body image and keeping a positive mentality. I say predominantly because there will be the odd outburst of love tweet for Lady Gaga or bragging about my own cooking. If this by the way sounds up your street, you can follow me @Healthy_Image.
Anyway, maybe I should’ve been more aware of the fact that this week was coming up and prepared a focused, varied schedule of topics to address each day or maybe organised some kind of fundraising event but I haven’t. There’s a part of me that feels a little guilty about that fact. Although maybe that’s okay, because eating disorder awareness doesn’t end for me by next Monday; at the moment it’s a ongoing dialogue and I will be focused on helping people today and the next week and the next.
However, instead of my thoughts circulating on the worry of not doing enough, perhaps what I should be thinking about is what Eating Disorder Awareness Week could potentially mean to other people. And maybe we all have the same purpose for this special week of raising awareness. For example, what is someone simply shared a link or a photo about EDAW on their Facebook page? What if someone suffering in silence sees that and feels safer, feels reassured that maybe they could confide in that person or at the very least know that they care about the very thing that they are going through. In my opinion just openly showing your support for EDAW even if it hasn’t affected you directly is like waving a kind flag to say ‘It’s okay’. A flag that lets someone know ‘I understand, I empathise, I’m not going to judge. I’m here if you need me.’
Maybe I shouldn’t be so hung up on how much I think I’m doing/not doing for this particular week because to be honest sometimes the smallest gesture can instigate huge changes. And I know for a fact that a momentous change in my life occurred when I was just able to say aloud to someone I trusted ‘I have a problem with binge eating’. One tiny little sentence, but the earthquake it shook within me changed my world for the better – don’t worry I will tell you the full story but I’m saving it for my 2 year binge free anniversary coming up in a couple months time.
I’m aware that today has been a bit of twisty, turny debate with myself post, my apologies. I must be adopting a bit of Gestalt Therapy here and getting all the mush at the forefront of my mind out so hopefully I will be able focus much more clearly for the rest of my posts this week!
I think what my point is today is no matter how much you acknowledge Eating Disorder Awareness Week, please just acknowledge it. Post a link on your favourite social media site , mention it in conversation, make a donation to a specified organisation or charity if you’re feeling particularly generous. Here I’ll even give you a link to some websites that you can copy and paste. Please, if you can, show your support. You might just be an instrumental factor in changing someone’s life.