*sigh* It’s National Eating Disorders Awareness Week

*sigh* It’s National Eating Disorders Awareness Week

Sigh.

It’s my favorite week of the year.

I hope you could feel the sarcasm oozing from your screen, reading that statement.

Every year, “#NEDAweek” (as it’s so coined on social media) rolls around, and every year I’m torn with this gut punch of “Yeah, I really should be all “gung ho” for this celebratory week in the ED community” but the reality is, it kinda just…ugh…it makes me feel icky inside.

And there are a couple reasons.

For staters, the week has become unabashedly “woke,” for lack of a better term. Because now, instead of focusing on what matters: namely, getting information out there about the gravity of eating disorders, signs to look for, resources and ways to help, and hope for those suffering. Now, in 2022, the focus has shifted to how sexual orientation and gender identity impacts eating disorders. Instead of using this once-a-year spotlight in the media with inspiring stories of overcoming an eating disorder, or spotlighting incredible treatment facilities and providers that are doing great things for the 28.8 million Americans who experience eating disorders at some point in their lives, they’re using the spotlight to push headlines like, “HOW WHITE SUPREMACY & COLONIALISM WARPED MY CONSTRUCTS OF HEALTH” and “DISMANTLING WHITENESS IN RECOVERY SPACES” and “BODY IMAGE AND SOCIAL JUSTICE” and “ASIAN AMERICAN IN A WHITE-DOMINANT TREATMENT CENTER” and “PRIDE: THERE’S ALWAYS A FIRST.” These headlines are literally copied from one of the top eating disorder “resources” out there.

It’s #NEDA Week, otherwise known as National Eating Disorder Awareness Week. And as the Top #EDRecovery blogger, I should be its biggest cheerleader. But I’m not. Here’s why. #recovery #anorexia #eatingdisorders #nedaweek #mentalhealth #bodyimage #catholic #faith

And hear me when I say: I’m not downplaying any of the “lived experiences” (as they call them) of people whose stories can relate to any of the aforementioned headlines.

But all I want to know is, when did helping someone overcome a life-threatening eating disorder become about social justice and alternative lifestyle agendas??

*Deep breath, Caralyn. Deep breath.*

It actually really, really pisses me off. And I need to step away from the computer for a second to cool off.

[Gets a glass of water and a snack.]

It’s #NEDA Week, otherwise known as National Eating Disorder Awareness Week. And as the Top #EDRecovery blogger, I should be its biggest cheerleader. But I’m not. Here’s why. #recovery #anorexia #eatingdisorders #nedaweek #mentalhealth #bodyimage #catholic #faith

OK. I’m more level headed now.

Instead of using the rest of this article to take a proverbial crap all over the efforts of, I’m sure, well-meaning…though absolutely agenda’d-people, I’m going to instead focus on the message that, if I were in charge of this #NEDAweek, I would put out into the world.

And just what is that, you ask?

IT. GETS. BETTER.

That is true for the sufferer who is so caught in the black vortex of an eating disorder, unable to see past the next meal *she (or he) has to consume, or the destructive ED-behavior she’s trying to sneakily engage in, or isolating herself from anyone who has love and concern for her. IT GETS BETTER.

That’s true for the parent or loved one, who is watching their daughter-sister-friend wasting away before their very eyes, feeling completely helpless and unable to reach their loved one who has become cold, detached, withdrawn and full of rage. IT GETS BETTER.

It’s #NEDA Week, otherwise known as National Eating Disorder Awareness Week. And as the Top #EDRecovery blogger, I should be its biggest cheerleader. But I’m not. Here’s why. #recovery #anorexia #eatingdisorders #nedaweek #mentalhealth #bodyimage #catholic #faith

That’s true for the ED warrior who, after facing her demons in either inpatient or with a professional team, is now in the trenches and battling with every fiber of her being to stay on the path of recovery, despite the slings and arrows thrown at her by the voice of her eating disorder, luring her back into a life of destruction. IT GETS BETTER.

It’s #NEDA Week, otherwise known as National Eating Disorder Awareness Week. And as the Top #EDRecovery blogger, I should be its biggest cheerleader. But I’m not. Here’s why. #recovery #anorexia #eatingdisorders #nedaweek #mentalhealth #bodyimage #catholic #faith

Hope is one of the most powerful forces in the world. And whether you’re in the throes of an eating disorder, watching someone you love suffer, or trudging through the life-long obstacle course of recovery, hope is the difference between beating this hellish disease, and succombing to, what could ultimately cost you everything.

When I was in the throes of anorexia, the brain fog I was in at 78 pounds made my thinking almost manic. (Granted I was also on the highest dose of the steroid, Prednisone at the time for my Ulcerative Colitis, so that surely didn’t help.) But hope was simply unimaginable. I couldn’t even fathom anything other than living to lose weight. I couldn’t even conceptualize a life that wasn’t ruled by stringent food rules, rituals and schedules. Where my existence hinged upon my body image, the number on the scale, how my “measuring stick” jeans fit. Happiness? It was a foreign concept. I lived in a perpetual state of anguish, fear, anxiety, panic, anger.

Left to my own accord, there was no possible way for hope to penetrate through the stone wall fortress I had erected around my heart, my spirit, my life. I was living to protect my anorexia, and woe to anyone or anything that tried to reach me.

BUT GOD.

It’s #NEDA Week, otherwise known as National Eating Disorder Awareness Week. And as the Top #EDRecovery blogger, I should be its biggest cheerleader. But I’m not. Here’s why. #recovery #anorexia #eatingdisorders #nedaweek #mentalhealth #bodyimage #catholic #faith

It is a miracle I am alive. Ask any nurse who processed my intake at inpatient. Physically, it is an absolute miracle that my heart didn’t give out, as my body was literally existing on my own muscle and tissues.

And yes, praise God. That is absolutely true.

But if you ask me, the greatest miracle of all, was Jesus bursting through that barrier and being the Living Hope that not only was the cornerstone and catalyst of even believing I wanted to — or could — get better, but the Living Hope that has sustained me every day since.

It’s #NEDA Week, otherwise known as National Eating Disorder Awareness Week. And as the Top #EDRecovery blogger, I should be its biggest cheerleader. But I’m not. Here’s why. #recovery #anorexia #eatingdisorders #nedaweek #mentalhealth #bodyimage #catholic #faith

The Living Hope that continues to drown out the Voice of ED — or rather, the enemy — who never relents in trying to draw a warrior back in. The Living Hope that I depend on to whisper me words of truth that I have worth. That I am loved and forgiven. That I am not a burden. That I am worthy of recovery.

It’s #NEDA Week, otherwise known as National Eating Disorder Awareness Week. And as the Top #EDRecovery blogger, I should be its biggest cheerleader. But I’m not. Here’s why. #recovery #anorexia #eatingdisorders #nedaweek #mentalhealth #bodyimage #catholic #faith

I would have no recovery without Him. Period. I would still be right back in that pit of the basement of rock bottom where He found me, and rescued me from.

IT GETS BETTER when we surrender it to Him.

That is what I would plaster all over the place if I were in charge of this week.

All this other lip service junk is simply noise that is detracting from the real message that anyone suffering, witnessing, or reclaiming life afterwards — desperately needs to hear: the message of hope.

It’s #NEDA Week, otherwise known as National Eating Disorder Awareness Week. And as the Top #EDRecovery blogger, I should be its biggest cheerleader. But I’m not. Here’s why. #recovery #anorexia #eatingdisorders #nedaweek #mentalhealth #bodyimage #catholic #faith

And that is precisely why I continue on with this blog – and why I wrote my book, Bloom. [Available here.]

It’s #NEDA Week, otherwise known as National Eating Disorder Awareness Week. And as the Top #EDRecovery blogger, I should be its biggest cheerleader. But I’m not. Here’s why. #recovery #anorexia #eatingdisorders #nedaweek #mentalhealth #bodyimage #catholic #faith

I’ll leave you with the Bible verse, shared with me by a very impactful person in my life, during my battle with anorexia. I clung to it during recovery, and perhaps, you will too: Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.

IT GETS BETTER.

“And the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” 1 Peter 5:10

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20 responses to “*sigh* It’s National Eating Disorders Awareness Week”

  1. Hi Caralyn! “IT GETS BETTER when we surrender it to Him.” Awesome! “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28.

    And thanks for sharing Hebrews 11:1. Standing on that a lot lately. Have a great weekend, my Friend! 🤗🙏

  2. You should be angry, Caralyn! All I see with these social media things is the devil laughing, and the liberals in this country enjoying it. Social media is great but the devil knows how to use it to pit us against each other. They need to wake up and see the truth…

    • In my view both sides of politics usually have a point and it is the responsibility of all of us to try to understand where the other side is coming from, even though we might not agree. Carolyn has created a rare safe space for both sides to come together and learn from each other. I think there are forces which seek to set us against one another. I am probably what you would consider liberal btw. The onus is on us to refuse to be divided in that way.

      • It’s the devil trying to divide and conquer. I’m a life-long Conservative and have no interest in what this fake president has to say.

      • I am not American, although I have lived there. I will always remember the kindness we were shown by the American people and am sad to see your great nation so divided.

        ” A house divided against itself, cannot stand.. ” Abraham Lincoln

  3. I think what you call being woke is making a simple point that culture and one’s reactions to what’s considered the norm are key elements that can result in a variety of disorders. These can include eating disorders, depression, anxiety, suicide and substance abuse.

    Biological factors may put some people at greater risk of any of these disorders, but they are most likely activated by an environmental trigger, such as a perceived failure to live up to societal norms, such as body image or success or relationships. The point is to learn what these triggers are and how best to deal with them before serious self-loathing and self-destructive behavior become all-encompassing.

    The increases in drug overdose deaths, suicides and other premature deaths in the US have given rise to the term “deaths of despair.” These deaths are a person’s inability to cope with the world they live in. Can they be helped — of course. But it’s important to realize the role the culture plays in making many people feel helpless and apart. It’s not just an individual’s problem, but society’s as well. In some sense, we are all responsible and we all pay a price for these ills.

  4. Wow! This post nearly had me in tears. I feel we have all been on a journey with you. I never thought much about eating disorders, until my daughter’s friend died of one. I had hugged her heartbroken mother and seen her raw pain. You have really educated me on the subject. I also recognised the parallels in my own struggles in a narcissistic relationship and I had been reminded how I would feed half my meal to the dog. Poor thingy and would often almost give me away, smacking his lips together. To this day, my mother has never realised how close I had come to having a real issue. I would even tip my cup of tea away, if I suspected it contained full cream milk.
    As for the term “woke”. I just feel we are going through a bit of a period of over-correction – From one extreme to the other. At times it worries me that we are in danger of swinging back to the 1950s. I do not feel we need to react to what you describe as “wokeness.” It is as if the lid has been lifted on decades of frustration. My attitude is to just shrug my shoulders and wait for things to settle down. It is my experience that people need to offload and go through their journey. Going back to Wandavision, you see through the decades, the journey the world has been on. We are just in yet another era, which we will either look back on with embarrassment or affection.
    We will probably only be able to understand the lessons of this particular era in hindsight.
    What worries me the most is the way the advent of the internet has exposed a dark underbelly, I really wish I did not have to know about. This age has brought together forces, who seek to undermine stability. People who exploit our differences for their own ends, as they seek to divide and conquer.

  5. I think the only thing that feels as good as unconditional love is forgiveness. As God loves us – and forgives us – completely, we find that our faith also allows us to forgive ourselves. It’s okay to admit that we are worthy, because God makes us worthy through Jesus His Son. God’s Love draws us to repentence; repentence leads us to forgiveness; forgivness draws us BACK to God’s Love!

  6. Agreed. Hope is one of the most powerful forces in the world, especially a LIVING HOPE—that only comes from our creator (God). 🙏 May He continue to bless your ministry, Caralyn!❤️

  7. Hello
    Walking in Faith, is Knowing that when You Ask , it is Given. You are open to Receiving when, Your Beliefs align with Your desire. Walking in Faith is Knowing God has gone before You and cleared Your path. “Faith the size of a mustard seed can move a mountain, With GOD ALL IS POSSIBLE. You are Loved,favoured and Protected.
    Look at it as if this beautiful Life is a stick, on the one end there are limiting beliefs, ‘negative’ emotion, sticky reoccurring thoughts and on the other there is Love, joy, happiness, laughter, abundance on all levels.
    You can only focus Your Energy on one side of the stick at a ‘time’. God reminds us not to look back. Looking back is not moving forward , You already know what You know, God has already healed You of that perceived affliction.
    After Jesus showed the ‘sick’ Wellness, He told them to tell No one.
    Love to You

  8. This is one of *the* best posts you have ever written, in my humble opinion. It is sad people are trying to attach a bunch of special labels and agendas to something that affects so many. The horror of eating disorders doesn’t need to be the poster child of the next “in” thing. The foundation of the message should always be God is our strength, and it does GET BETTER. Thank you for highlighting and living that message!

  9. Correction, woman: Life starts existing where dark meets light.
    All moves on Earth is before today only disgrace of Self and others.

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