Community Magazine


By Rubytuesday
TWIt's National Eating Didorders Awareness Week this weekAn important date on the calendar for sufferers and their familiesI know it has been in the media a lot this week in this countryMy doctor from treatment has been on the tv and radio numerous times this talking about eating disorders I think it's so important to talk about EDsAs we all knowEDs have the highest mortality rate of any mental illnessThat is a chilling statistic
Eating disorders thrive on secrecySufferers don't want to talk about what they are doingBecause they are embarrassed Because they are afraidAnd because they are ashamed I know in my caseIt took me years to even admit to the fact that I had an EDI couldn't face up to the reality that I had anorexiaAs well as having an addictionIt was all too muchI remember feeling so scared and alone at that timeI knew nothing about EDsI knew no one that had experience with themAnd it was so confusingAs I had always loved my foodAnd now it was becoming my enemyI didn't know where to turnOr what to doTelling my family was beyond difficultBut I soon found out that they had suspected I had food issues anywayThat's the thing about EDsWe think we are hiding themAnd keeping them secretBut those that know us best Always know that something is up
I think it's so important to talk about EDs and mental health issuesTen people kill themselves every week on this countryAnd eight of those are menSome high profile people have spoken out about mental illness in this countryWhich has started the conversation in homesWe are not very good at talking about our issues here in IrelandWe are experts at sweeping things under the carpet and burying our heads in the sandMy family used to be like thatGrowing up our house was turbulentThere were issues that badly needed to be addressed But instead they were ignoredAnd they festered and stewedAlmost tearing my family apartBut now Years laterWe are able to talk openly about out addictions and disordersAnd we are closer than ever
My hope for this weekNEDA weekIs that people talk more about EDsIn my mind EDs are a way to take some control over our livesThose with EDs are not happy well adjusted people We are sufferingSuffering from low self esteemWe have little or no confidence or belief in ourselvesWe are lonelyAnd afraidIt's no exaggeration to say that hate ourselvesAnd so we try to take control ovet the one thing we canOur weight
As we all knowTreating EDs is extremely difficultYou are dealing with someone who might not want to get wellAnd it's damn near impossible to treat someone who doesn't want the helpI have been in hospital and treatment many timesIt was always me trying to maintain my illnessTrying to stay one step ahead of the staffI saw them as the enemyAs them trying to take away the only thing that was keeping me goingFor meInpatient treatment did not workAnd it took me a while to figure that outBeing around other girls with chronic illness was so hardAnd the docks all day was good and weightI don't doubt that it works for some peopleAnd you have to be so focused and determined to get well in that situationI began to get well with the help of MaryIt took me a long time But eventually I mustered up the courage to address my demonsI found doing it from home suited me much betterI think that inpatient treatment really needs to be looked atAnd more out patient treatment needs to be available
This week two years agoThere was an ED convention in my home townOrganised by Bodywhys and MaryTwo days before the conventionMary rand myself and my motherAnd asked us both to speak at the conferenceI was terrified But I really wanted to do itI wanted to be honest about what it is like to live day in, day out with an EDI felt it was so important to let people know the reality of itI wrote out my speechAnd wrote as if no one was ever going to read itThe day of the conferenceI was a bundle of nervesI watched the room fill upWith doctors, psychiatrists, families and sufferersI held my speech in my handsReading over it again and againSoon it was my turn to speakI don't remember much about reading it outOnly that it was over before I knew itI got so much great feedback afterwardsMary hugged meAnd she had a tear in her eyeI hope my speech that day gave  people a better understanding of what it's like to live with an EDBecause often families and friends are at a loss as to what to do to help their loved oneAnd I think it's up to usThose of us that are suffering or in recoveryTo let others know how to help usAnd to ask for that helpBecause inspire of what we think We can not do this alone

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