Reflections on NEDAW 2014

“I Had No Idea” was the theme of this year’s National Eating Disorders Awareness Week. We had a whole program of events on campus in honor of the week and all of the brave women suffering from, recovering from, and thriving beyond their eating disorders, as well as those who love and support them.

The theme this year got me thinking about all the things I had no idea about earlier in my life.

I had no idea …

  • how seriously ill I was before finding help that worked.
  • I was anorexic; the bulimia was much easier to recognize.
  • I was also an alcoholic.
  • how much I starved myself of support and help.
  • how much help I needed, and deserved.
  • I was a trauma survivor and a child of an alcoholic.
  • I also had depression.
  • there was a way out, since I was fairly convinced I would die of my eating disorder.
  • that treatment and 12 step support could work for me, too.
  • how to do it.
  • how to ask for help, or that I really needed it for that matter!
  • I was a good person with gifts to share.
  • how beautiful life is, how much a part of it I am, and how wonderfully gracious God is!
  • that I would become Lily’s mom aka “sunshine in a dog.”
  • I would be recovered for 13 years and counting.
  • I would marry the love of my life, I would be blessed with a family and close friends.
  • I would become medical director and CEO of the best treatment center on the planet and would be blessed daily with our amazing patients and staff.

For all of you in recovery, I hope your life is rife with incredible “I had no ideas,” that fill you with joy and gratitude every single day. Additionally, if you know a woman who is struggling with an eating disorder, or any type of addiction,   please encourage her to seek help. Because here is the truth: everyone has an abundant life just waiting to happen; but until a woman strives for, and achieves recovery, she will continue to have NO idea how extraordinary, wonderful, and rewarding life can be.