Eating disorders Awareness Week.- A time when we encourage the most precious of conversations in order to raise awareness and understanding of an illness that disrupts and ruins the lives of so many people.
There seems to be an awareness week/day for most things recently- Only last week it was National Pie day (I appreciate not the best example giving this weeks focus but you get the idea.) Regardless of the focus, the idea is to concentrate thoughts and attention onto one particular area, to encourage discussion in the cold light of day- warts and all.
This week there will be incredible stories of recovery, hope and encouragement but hopefully and even more importantly the week could prompt someone to look inside themselves and perhaps recognise that something that is not quite right.
Perhaps instead of having conversations to increase each others understanding, some people, including myself can use this week to look deep into our wellbeing, our relationship with food, our body, soul and self esteem.
I’ve made no secret of my “diagnosis” of anorexia, and more recently have given a frank account of how my mental illness has evolved into a beast that scared even me- the toughest of old boots.
But my relationship with food is still one that is marred with rigidity, rules and regulation. My self esteem is at a level lower than the depths of hell and my self loathing is astronomical- why? I have no justification, no rhyme or reason.
This week, therefore, is my own awareness week and each day I want to commit to exploring a different angle of this disordered relationship. Considering, not the Why’s or the causes of my illness, as to be quite honest I really am done with the whole “talking about my past” thing- it sucked- move on!- but instead look at the wider effects of the illness of my whole life, my being and my ability to be present in some areas of my life.
Its going to be quite the rollercoaster
Monday- I am slightly nervous about a new form of treatment that I am going to be trying, thanks to the incredible kindness of Tanya Lovett an Advanced Practitioner in Emotional Freedom Technique (tapping). I will be having a think about some of the therapy I’ve had/endured in the past, comparing it to this new experience and considering how to take responsibility for my own care.
Tuesday is the day that I usually get to see my adorable niece, she brings so much joy and her carefree mind is so humbling, but everyday she is learning more and more. This will be the day I try to impart a little of my own knowledge, I’m going to give some exposure to some of the things that I wish people knew about Eating Disorders, some of those hideous myths and what NOT to say to anyone going through their own battles.
On Wednesday, as I do most weeks, I will be seeing a dear friend, who has been my saving grace over the last few months. I want to think about how Eating Disorders can and do impact on every relationship we have, whether that be with our friends, family or colleagues.
Thursday is the evening that Alex Flatman takes the incredible YogaED class, something that I felt so passionate about getting off the ground and which she has taken under her beautiful wings. Yoga, really encourages us to being tune with our body, how it is feeling both physically and mentally. Over the years, I have become so incredibly our of sync with my own needs, refusing to listen to my most basic of needs so I’ll be having a ponder over some examples and bringing them to light.
Friday is the weekday we all look forward to- not so much for me working in hospitality but none the less, it’s time to reflect on a hard working week.
Recovery for me, has been and is tough, sometimes its feels like more than a full time job, taking all my energy, dedication and concentration so today I’ll be having a think about what my journey has looked like so far, some of the worst but most euphoric moments and of course looking humbly to the future- what that might look like, and the dreams that it might include.
I am super proud that on Saturday I will be hosting Bedfordshires first Eating Disorder Recovery Fayre, it has been such an honour to arrange such a big event so I will be posting throughout the day,
Stay Tuned… Sunday is gratitude day and regardless of the turbulent few years I’ve had, without doubt I have even more than ever to be so eternally grateful for.