Friday, February 28, 2014

You Know a Person with an Eating Disorder

It may not be you, but it is more than likely a struggle of someone you know. Hear their voice...

I am your daughter. I am your sister. 
I am your son. I am your brother. 
I am your best friend, girl friend, boy friend, classmate. 
I am the skinny girl. 
I am the obese guy. 
I am the one who looks like they have it all together.
I am the cheerleader, the singer, the dancer, the band nerd, the jock, the class president, the valedictorian. 
I am the sorority girl, fraternity guy.
I am the Bible study leader, the barista, the roommate, the random date, the store clerk. 
I am the teacher, the gym buddy, the soccer mom, the new mom, the working and stay at home parent, the CEO.

I am a person with an eating disorder.

I am scared and deceived and desperate...and you may never know it
I am looking at my life spiral out of control, and I feel helpless.
I am crying out for help, but in this nightmare, no words form on my lips, no sounds escape from my mouth.
I am silenced by fear.
I am paralyzed by impending judgement.
I am suffocated by misunderstanding.
I am quietly marching to the rhythm of deception and secret and appearances.
I am dying every day because I am blind and deaf to truth and identity.
I am controlling the only thing I feel like I can control.
I am chasing perfection that can never be caught.
I am harder on myself than you could ever be.
I am exhausted and alone.

I am a person with an eating disorder. 

But helping me? 
Helping me is only a breath away. It begins when you break through the deafening silence, shatter the glass walls I've built. 
Do you see me?
Do you know me?
Please. Help. Me.

It's as easy as ABC...

Be AWARE of my actions and things I may be trying to hide.
Be BOLD to reach out to me if you suspect I am trapped in this vicious, self-destructing disorder. 
Be COMMITTED to holding me accountable. 
Be DETERMINED I seek professional help. 
Be ENCOURAGING every step of the way- even when you do not understand what I say, what I think, or what I do.
Be FAITHFUL to celebrate my small goals met. It will result in my major victories. 
Be GRACE. Because I never show any to myself. I need someone to show me what it looks like to stand up after a fall. 
Be HOPE. I am in the deepest dark and I need to be reminded that the light still exists. 
Be INSPIRING, directing conversations and focus to things that carry eternal, not earthly weight.
Be JOYFUL. I am good at feigning happiness...but joy escapes me.
Be KNOWLEDGABLE about the disease, it's signs and symptoms.
Be LOOKING for the masked symptoms I am working so hard to disguise. 
Be MINDFUL of your words in relation to body image and beauty. I catalogue them all.
Be NOISY when it comes to calling out the unhealthy and unrealistic portrayals of beauty all around.
Be OPEN to having hard conversations with me. 
Be PATIENT. Remind me-and you-that my disorder didn't develop in a day, and it will not be healed in one. 
Be QUIET and let me speak my fears, struggles, and temptations without judgement.
Be RESISTANT to the temptation to assume that I simply have an issue with food or portion control.
Be SAFE by keeping all diet products and paraphernalia out of my reach while I am on the road to recovery. 
Be TOUGH when I want to escape. Remind me that it's about what I am running toward instead of what I am running from. 
Be UNWILLING for me to accept our culture's ideals. 
Be VALIANT. Don't assume someone else will come to my rescue.
Be eXPECTING me to deceive you, especially in the beginning.
Be YOU. Don't share your perfections with me. Tell me how you overcame YOUR struggles.
Be a ZOMBIE killer! Help me lay down the stench of death and 
pick up LIFE! 

I am a person with an eating disorder...

...and by reading this, and sharing this truth...
you may have just saved my life

Having struggled with an eating disorder for over 4 years in my late teens and early 20s, and it's ever lingering after effects and struggles even today, it's time to demystify these disorders and recognize them for the serious issue they are. 

They are hidden and hideous.
They are deceptive and devastating to mental and physical health. 
They are everywhere. 

Culture glamorizes, laughs, and scoffs at these disorders.
But they are real.

And it isn't just the teenagers, the models, the stereotypical. 
I want to give a voice to all of the those you would look at and say, "I had no idea".

I want to empower the loved ones, the concerned ones, who don't know how to go any further than the phrase, "I had no idea."

Hear their voices. 
Be bold.
Take action.

Growing in Grace and Living Simple Truth,

Find more information on this subject, check out National Eating Disorder Awareness 

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