Today is the first day of National Eating Disorder Awareness Week. Over 30 million people in the US and 70 million people worldwide suffer from an eating disorder. Every 62 minutes, someone dies as a direct result of an eating disorder, giving it the highest mortality rate of any mental illness. Up to 3.5% of all American women will suffer from Anorexia at some point in their life, and up to 4% of all American women will suffer from Bulimia at some point in their life. These numbers are too high, but they don’t have to be. Eating disorders are real, they are a mental illness and they deserve the same care, treatment and support as any other physical or mental illness.
For those of you also struggling, know you are not alone, you will never be alone. Never forget that. If you are struggling in silence, try to break the silence. Reach out to people around you, begin to get treatment, start your road to recovery. Choosing to get help was the hardest decision I ever made. I was scared, anxious, ashamed, I thought I had failed. I was wrong. So while going into treatment was terrifying, it ended up being the best decision I ever made. Recovery is not easy, I’m not going to lie, it’s the most physically, mentally and emotionally draining thing I’ve ever done, but what comes out of it is so beautiful. Happiness, health, undeniable self-love. It’s all worth it. Don’t wait a second longer, make that decision today.
To all those who are supporting someone struggling, you are incredible. I know it’s not always easy to stay by someone’s side when they’re going through s**t, but know that you are appreciated. Most of the time, it’s the smallest and most simplest of things that make the biggest difference. Asking how their day is going, sending a quick text of support or even just a smile goes further than you think. And for all you supporters out there, know you are appreciated. If you see someone who you suspect may be struggling or who you know is struggling, don’t look away, don’t push them away. Sometimes all we need is someone who shows they care, someone who will take three minutes of their day to show love and support. You can be that person.
Finally, I wanted to end this post by saying thank you to the incredible people in my life who have never left my side, the people who have shown me time and again that they love and support me. You are my angels, you are the reason I am where I am today. Whether you realize it or not, your actions and words keep me going every single day. On the days where I feel like I can’t keep going, the days where recovery seems impossible, your love makes me want to fight.I want to be there for all of you, I will be there for all of you. This platform has become my biggest blessing, giving me the opportunity to share my story in an attempt to help some understand and to help others feel less alone. The stigma may still be there, but it won’t be for long.
Get ready for a week full of posts!