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Kicking off today is NEDAwareness Week Feb 21-27. NEDA has created a daily calendar of ideas to help spark the conversation and theme: It’s Time To Talk About It. Find ways to get involved within your community and help the continuation of support, research, edcuation and improved treatment resources for those who suffer with Eating Disorders!
The mission of NEDAwareness Week
Our aim of NEDAwareness Week is to ultimately prevent eating disorders and body image issues while reducing the stigma surrounding eating disorders and improving access to treatment. Eating disorders are serious, life-threatening illnesses — not choices — and it’s important to recognize the pressures, attitudes and behaviors that shape the disorder.
What is NEDAwareness Week?
NEDAwareness Week is a collective effort of primarily volunteers, eating disorder professionals, health care providers, educators, social workers, and individuals committed to raising awareness of the dangers surrounding eating disorders and the need for early intervention and treatment.
How NEDAwareness Week Works
This year, NEDA is calling for everyone to do just one thing to help raise awareness and provide accurate information about eating disorders. NEDAwareness Week participants can choose from a huge range of ways to contribute: Distribute info pamphlets and put up posters, write one letter for Media Watchdogs, register as a Volunteer Speaker or host a Volunteer Speaker, coordinate a NEDA Walk, or arrange interactive and educational activities such as panel discussions, fashion shows, body fairs, movie screenings, art exhibits and more. As an official NEDAwareness Week participant you can be involved in any way that works with your schedule, resources, community, and interests. These events and activities attract public media attention – on local, national and international levels.
Exams are done, the school year finished, award ceremonies to close the term ended with celebration, endless rounds of pictures, laughter, yearbooks signed and plans for “hangin’ out” in the months to come. Another term ended, time to kick back, enjoy– relax. Summer feels close upon us!
Our daughter has come so far since last year and continues to move ahead much stronger, healthier and so-so-so much happier– you see it in her dimpled smile, the flash and sparkle in her eyes, and the measured confidence she has steadily gained through her continued recovery, she is more herself vs the eating disorder. As a family we are once again, becoming more whole, and definitely enjoying less visitation by the unwelcome nuisance- Anorexia.
Too many things we would all rather be doing at this time of year. Places to go-visit, reconnecting with friends and family from another continent, more concentration on writing and my art… it’s time to take a much needed break– for all of us in our household, I think we’ve all earned it.
Will be back in the early to mid Fall– wishing all of you a very wonderful, healthy and restful Summer!
Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date.
The European Eating Disorder Review published two interesting case studies utilizing the NF therapuetic intervention which resulted in some differences (though it appeared both participants found the method beneficial from their personal feedback) which involve three distinct Sessions:
- Session 1 – Neuropsychological Assessment
- Session 2 – Feedback, Formulation & Target Setting
- Session 3 – Reflection
Researches Carolina Lopez, Marion Roberts, Kate Tchanturia and Janet Treasure make clear that these results are preliminary and indeed need further development and study, but that they show promise towards working individually with AN sufferers (I would also think this modality can be implemented and fine-tuned specifically within the other eating disorder spectrum/diagnosis’ as well) and their distinct cognitive processes that can be or become increasingly rigid, singly focused, and inflexible keeping one “stuck” (my words) in a repetitive cycle usually not helpful for an eating disorder sufferer. The “aim of the intervention is to help individuals transcend their information processing styles and develop a more balanced strategy in their relationship with food and shape/weight“.
What stood out positively within the study was pointing out that there is no “right or wrong” in terms of a sufferers cognitive style, and that the emphasis was not to constantly drill a negative personal message of something being “wrong” with an individual. But rather, using the modality to assist in being able to “step back” (where the reflection session comes in) and gain some personal perspective, more reflectively to “problem solve” and restrategize what may be perpetuating a cyclical unhealthy processing in terms of the eating disorder and cognitive-rigidity; and expand a broader scope to better assist and support the sufferer within continued recovery.
What also stood out to me personally in reviewing the case studies was a reflection upon how “acting quickly”, finding treatment, experienced and trained providers, and having a “plan of action” earlier vs later cannot be understated. And sometimes you have to really be a bug up someones arse to get things moving and changing, or finding better care if you’re not getting the services you or your loved one need– so don’t give up, keep plugging forward — everyday is a new beginning.
Interesting use of metaphor…
are you taking care of your Earth Suit— I hope so!
– Bonne Nuit
Vrishabha- the sacred bull of Lord Shiva… or more widely known- Taurus, the Bull reigns this month of May. Our daughter turns 14 on this May 20th, and she definitely characterizes the nature of the bold, loyal, and very stubborn Taurus!
Before being diagnosed with Anorexia, birthday’s had always been a festive and richly tasting affair. And while we’ll continue partaking in this annual delight, it’s still a bit difficult for her to freely enjoy what never took a second guess years past. She’s committed to challenging herself, though there are days she’s not too happy to do so, and will boldly (envision the Taurus with plumes of smoke flaring from nostrils!) make that clear– well, what were you like at 14, minus an eating disorder?
I’m forever grateful to those who also remain equally, if not at times more, committed to helping support our daughter in keeping focus upon her recovery. Recovery is not easy for sufferers, and parents still get bawked a’ plenty and treated with disdain, misjudgment, and left to the side when there requires a much more encompassing circle to complete for true healing and whole-ness to take place. And dualistically, sufferers also need their own space, their own pace to regain their true Selves back once nutritionally and weight stabilized– this requires alot of Love, patience, perseverance and sometimes a compassionately coordinated “team” all working together. It makes me think of the Buddhist practice of mindfulness and the use of “a two-handed practice”:
I can sit in my predicament as a witness, not as a plaintiff or judge: ‘Here I am in this situation and I sit squarely in it and breathe into it. At the same time, I am aware that I can handle this and get through it without becoming devastated. I can trust my competence neither to become dramatically overwhelmed nor to be stoically untouched. This sense of competence frees me from fear, since fear thrives on powerlessness. I imagine myself holding my predicament in one hand and my power to work with it in the other. One hand is serenely mindful; one is courageously working. When I hold both realities this way, I am agreeable to things as they are, and I am doing all I can to change them for the better as well.” -D. Richo
This resonates with me deeply as a parent and the complexities illnesses like eating disorders present to us. Now if only we can collectively and universally have provided the very best in evidence-based, highest standard of quality care of treating eating disorders and supporting families in such a comprehensively and equally accessible manner– that would be my wish!
Our daughter has many “wishes” and dreams she wants to pursue. We simply want to wish her a very Happy Birthday, happy 14th Year, to continued Health and vitality… and to a courageous healthy-stubborn side that can be an anchor for her when difficulties and stress arise. Knowing she can reach out and ask for help, she’s worth every ounce of her hard work on the road to recovery she has traveled thus far, and that we Love her very, very much!
This is a day of promise –
Of hopefulness, laughter, and cheer,
For this is a day of remembering
The good things that happened all year –
A day for reflecting on memories
Shared with friends and with family, too,
Who were so much a part
of the joys in your heart
And the love that you felt
all year through-
This is a day of promise
Of the beauty and warmth life can hold,
And of new dreams to dream
and more love to share
Through a year that’s about to unfold.
Well I haven’t been blogging to an idealized expectation… but there is good reason– SPRING!
This time of year is definitely infectious for us. Things are blooming, the soil is deep, dark, rich and inviting (which reminds me, the compost needs turning) and I simply can’t resist when the weather beckons and stays as wonderful as it has. We spend most of our time outdoors when spring and summer arrive so I can only apologize for posting infrequently and sporadically. And this summer we’ll be either vacationing in India, the Rocky Mountains, or beachin’ it on Big Sur– so even more intermittent rambles, c’est ca!
This weekend is also Chicago’s Green Festival and we’ll be heading out for the party. Personally I can’t think of a better way of treating the family with some fun, gorgeous weather, great food and extended community company!
Wishing all of you a very Bountiful, Healthy and Happy Summer!
Being an artist
means, not reckoning and counting,
but ripening like the tree
which does not force its sap
and stands confident
in the storms of spring
without the fear that after them
may come no summer
-RAINER MARIA RILKE-