Perhaps one of the most devastating and enduring consequences of an eating disorder is the isolation and loneliness experienced by the affected person. Eating disorders both create and thrive in isolation. Making the presence of collaborative and supportive relationships an integral part of the healing and recovery process. Knowing this, I was thrilled to learn that this year’s World Eating Disorder Action Day theme is #WeDoActTogether, which highlights the importance of creating and maintaining relationships in recovery. For me, isolation, shame, and loneliness contributed greatly to my eating disorder. It was only when I started my yoga practice that I was able to find a connection back to my true self, drop the identity tied to the eating disorder, and begin to create supportive relationships that have been integral to my journey of healing and recovery.Read More
In supporting people through their treatment and recovery process, one thing I have heard over and over again is, “Well, I’m not [fill in the comparison of weight/shape/size], so I don’t have a problem,” often followed up by, “See, I’m pathetic, I’m not even good at my eating disorder.”
I call BS.Read More
Just the other day I was speaking with a friend who told me that she is worried that her boss thinks she is “lazy.” I asked her why she feels this way and she said, “maybe it’s because I have been jokingly telling him that for the past few months.”
This got me thinking…Read More
The devil steals
Every private thought
Sliver of joy
Sense of peace...Read More
I met Ed the end of April my freshman year. I was outside, surrounded by people who didn’t really like me, but let me eat with them anyway. He came up, full of charisma and happiness, and struck the most intense conversation I’ve ever been apart of. He made the world seem brighter and he made me feel special and beautiful. He came at the perfect moment, with how stressful school and family had become over the winter. Our initial meeting was brief but incredibly memorable. Ed made me feel better about myself then I had for a long time, and I’m forever grateful for him. He made me recognize my goals and made me want to achieve them. He sat with me everyday during lunch, talking about nothing and everything at the same time.
“What kind of apple is that, Hanne?”
“Want to hangout with me after school?”
Ed and I became fast friends. He was there for me through all the ups and downs. We were attached at the hip; where one went, the other wasn’t far behind. Then I met my first love. I heard from Ed less and less, until I barely heard from him at all. I was so wrapped up with how in love I was, that Ed faded almost completely out of my life. But then my first love broke my heart and left. Ed came right back. He rushed to my side the instant he knew. He was different however. He was harsher, more controlling. He’d tell me what to feel, what to think, how to act, and what to do. In the vulnerable state I was in, I let him. I followed his every rule, his every command. He was my puppeteer, and I was attached to his strings. One pull and I was there. One tug and I did what he asked. I was his submissive. The following year I wasn’t in control of myself. I didn’t want to be.
“Why are you talking to her? She’ll only drag you down.”
“Don’t stand next to her. You’ll look fat compared to her.”
“Don’t eat that, Hefty Hanne.”
“Don’t eat that. You don’t deserve it.”
“Don’t eat that.”
One day he pulled my strings too hard. I weighed 99 pounds, and I hadn’t eaten in three days. I was driving my friend home, when Ed took over. My lungs were full of lead, my mouth was laden with dirt, and I saw the stars of the milky way. My head felt like it held the weight of the world. My eyes closed and I took a deep breath. I was unconscious. Ed had taken all of me and wasn’t satisfied, so he tried to take others down with me. I passed out behind the wheel, with my friend in the car with me. I could barely walk. I was so weak, that getting out of bed felt like a herculean task. But that was the final straw. I had nothing left to give.
One by one, I started cutting away his strings. Some were thicker, harder than others. The first string cut had been coiled around my eyes. He had blinded me from the beginning, shielding who he was and who I’d become. The second string cut filled my lungs. He taught me to believe that I couldn’t breathe without him. There wasn’t a reason to do so without him. Next, I cut the string that bound my hands. My bones cracked from the lack of use. They could finally reach for help, hold myself up, and take back what was mine. The final string was the hardest to cut. It was hard as metal and thick like concrete.
It was my heart. For so long it was locked away, behind miles and miles of barbed wire, metal fences, and fear. This was Ed’s favorite toy. One could saw away at this rope and get nowhere. Or get so far and come back, with the string tighter and larger than before. But I managed, because he was not going to win.
Now, his strings are gone, but there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think of Ed. His scars cover my body; they’re deep and painful. Some days I look at them like one would look at their own baby photo. With a tender familiarness of better times. Other times, it’s with a look filled with shame. That I let him sink his hooks so deep into my very soul. Ed will be with me forever. In the backseat of my car, at the end of my lunch table, at the spare desk in the back of the classroom. It’s hard to love a spare desk or a backseat driver, but I thank him everyday. Without Ed, I wouldn’t be the strong woman I’ve become. The journey is far from over, but Ed’s time with me is through.
Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about goals. About what it means to set goals and excel at something and how much of our life is spent working towards those goals. I’ve also been thinking about what it means to be “average” and why we tend to label this word as negative...Read More
I am constantly asking the question of whether or not I have “energy for that.” In a world where we all have to be budget conscious, it is always interesting to me that we are not spending more time budgeting for our emotional energy...(read more)Read More
It seems harmless, yet can have very detrimental effects. We are all likely, at some time or another, guilty of doing this, and genuinely feel we are helping someone’s self-esteem and confidence. But instead, it gives mixed messages about what is important, and how one should calculate their self-worth...(read more)Read More
No, not sleeping.
Thinking & walking.
Sitting & writing.
No, not feeling.
Writing & thinking.
Thinking & writing.
Lying & writing.
Got tired of sitting.
Writing & writing.
Walking & lying.
No, got tired of thinking. Lying.
Running & screaming.
Crying & running.
Running & screaming.
No, not really?
Got tired of sleeping.
Thinking & dreaming...
- Brea K.
Advancements in the clinical and psychological understanding of mental illnesses in recent history have vastly improved the perception and acceptance of people with mental illnesses by society. With this increased acceptance, outreach from both professional and public domains have increased access to medical treatment and support groups, for those in need. However, despite the progress that has been made thus far, there are still underlying stigmas that are attached to mental illness that arise from lack of knowledge surrounding the causes and burdens of these conditions. Destigmatizing mental illness requires professionals and the general public to toe a fine line...Read More
We are so excited to celebrate the success and continued growth of one of our own, Kyira Hauer. Check out this awesome article written by Jason Busch of the Isthmus...Read More
“I will tell myself I am not my thoughts, but then I look in the mirror, pull up my shirt and look at my stomach. I become my mind. It takes over every single time. FAT. It whispers fat and it keeps whispering until it turns into a scream that drowns you. It takes you under and leaves you thrashing to get to the surface, for just one glimpse of air. It takes away any form of oxygen or sanity that you previously had. Your sanity is gone. And like oxygen, we don’t notice its presence until it is gone.”
That was in 2006. It is now 2017 and I am what feels like, a completely different person from when I wrote that passage. I struggled...(read more)Read More
I have been asked many times how I came up with our name. Many people think that it was arbitrary and was chosen based on its attractive flow. It was not...Read More
Saying goodbye is to you is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life...