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NEDA’s 2010 Conference : Building Bridges to Recovery

New Year’s eve is like every other night;

there is no pause in the march of the universe,

no breathless moment of silence among created things that the passage of another twelve months may be noted;

and yet no man has quite the same thoughts this evening that come with the coming of darkness on other nights

~Hamilton Wright Mabie

Fat Talk Free Week 2009

Outside of the word ‘Ma’am’ there is another word — the ‘F-A-T’ word that I despise quite vehemently… it’s been refreshing to be rid of at least one of those words this week!

I LOVE Chicago!

 

… but we’ll happily settle.

 

When he speaks,

The air, a chartered libertine, is still.

Henry V, 1.1

Umbrella Erin Hael

Anyone involved with eating disorders knows all too well the commitment, expense, and time that treatment and recovery encompass. There are no quick fixes on this journey towards reclaiming ones’ Life back from a devastating illness that can lead to chronic health debility and even death if left untreated.

Just mention the word “insurance” to anyone acquainted with eating disorders and you will undoubtedly get a credible grunt of frustration or despair when it comes to what insurance companies “allow” for treatment and follow up care. And for those of us who have loved ones requiring the most intense level of care in either residential ED programs and/or partial-day programs for any length of time, insurance becomes yet another demon to lock horns with; and certainly not what caregivers, families and sufferers need tacked onto an already onerous battle to save someones Life.

We have had many a battle with insurance to get our daughter the care she deserves, and to push beyond the bullying that desperate parents face when told your child cannot get the medical services s/he needs until you’ve taken out a second mortgage, gone bankrupt, taken out exorbitant loans because extended coverage was denied, but by all Dr recommendations is absolutely necessary in continuing care and treatment.

The manner at which eating disorders are covered by insurance (and obtaining equal access to quality care is another needle-in-the-haystack!) is still quite crude that my blood boils when listening to parent after parent exhaustively stating the same heartrending scenario over and over. And speaking with parents and sufferers outside the US, you find some of the same- sometimes even worse.

Well, after stating all this rather negative reality, there is some hopeful news to share with the now infamous New Jersey Blue Cross/Blue Shield class action federal court case which restores my belief, coupled with the progression of Mental Health Parity, that 2009 will continue to move forward and keep chipping away towards change in improved coverage and treatment of eating disorders that is well overdue:

 
January 10, 2009 Horizon Blue Cross/Blue Shield of New Jersey has tentatively settled a class action pending in federal court in Newark, New Jersey involving reimbursements for medical expenses relating to the treatment of eating disorders. The terms of the settlement must still be approved by the court.

Although Horizon covered treatments related to eating disorders (primarily anorexia and bulimia), including hospitalization, outpatient treatment, psychotherapy and nutritional counseling, there were benefit limits on such treatments.

Under the settlement terms, Horizon has agreed to pay claims for eating disorders that were denied because they exceeded the plans’ maximum benefit for non-biologically based mental illness.
Horizon has also agreed to give parity treatment to eating disorder claims for Horizon insureds in the future and to enhance its appeals procedure by providing the right to select review by an eating disorder specialist of all claims denied on the basis of medical necessity.

New Year 2009!

 

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow: The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.
-Lord Alfred Tennyson

Solstice Holly

There is something beyond the dull brightness of mid-day, fluorescent and buzzing. Something to praise beyond the sun, triumphing over the intricacies of shadowed moonlight.

 

Bringing the old, beautiful realm of Holy Night, echoing with ancient voices, rustling with intimacy’s passion, luminous with stars.

Cradled in darkness, be restored to the embrace of mystery.
 

Glory wakes here.
Let it kindle your joy.

-Rebecca Parker

 

Wishing All a Very Blessed, Happy and Joyful Holiday!

 

 

When I think of the most beautiful voice, there is no comparison to the sound of Lata Mangeshkar. This lyric brings me to tears and yet I find great comfort in both the sounds and words.

-A very Blessed and Happy Thanksgiving!

 

वैष्णव जन तो (Vaishnav Jan to ): वैष्णव जन तो तेने कहिये जेपीड़ परायी जाणे रेपर दुख्खे उपकार करे तोयेमन अभिमान ना आणे रेवैष्णव जन तो तेने कहिये जे …सकळ लोक मान सहुने वंदेनींदा न करे केनी रेवाच काछ मन निश्चळ राखेधन धन जननी तेनी रेवैष्णव जन तो तेने कहिये जे …सम दृष्टी ने तृष्णा त्यागीपर स्त्री जेने मात रेजिह्वा थकी असत्य ना बोलेपर धन नव झाली हाथ रेवैष्णव जन तो तेने कहिये जे …मोह माया व्यापे नही जेनेद्रिढ़ वैराग्य जेना मन मान रेराम नाम सुन ताळी लागीसकळ तिरथ तेना तन मान रेवैष्णव जन तो तेने कहिये जे …वण लोभी ने कपट- रहित छेकाम क्रोध निवार्या रेभणे नरसैय्यो तेनुन दर्शन कर्ताकुळ एकोतेर तारया रेवैष्णव जन तो तेने कहिये जे

Hindi- :Vaishnav Jan to tene kahiye Jay peerh paraaye janneyray Par dukkhey upkar karey teeyey, man abhiman na anney ray Sakal lokma Sahuney bandhey, Ninda Na karye kainee ray Baach kaachh, Man nischal Raakhey, dhan-dhan jananee tainee ray Samdrishi nay trishna tyagee, par-stree jaynay mat ray Vivihva thaki asatya na bolay, par-dhan nav jhaley haath ray Moh maaya vyaayey nahin Jeynay, dridth vairagya jana manma rayRam-nam-shoom taalee laagee, Sakal teerth seyna tanma ray Vanloohee nay kapat rahit chhay, Kaam, Krodh nivarya ray Bhane Narsinhyo tainoo darshan karta kul ekotair taarya re:

English- :Speak only as godlike of the man who feels another’s pain Who shares another’s sorrow and pride does disdain Who regards himself lowliest of the low Speaks not a word of evil against anyone Blessed is the mother who gave birth to such a son Who looks upon everyone as his equal, Lust he has renounced Who honors women like he honors his mother Whose tongue knows not the taste of falsehood Nor covets another’s worldly goods Who longs not for worldly wealth (or fame)For he treads the path of renunciationEver on his lips is Ram’s holy name All places of pilgrimage are within him He has conquered greed, is free of deceit, lust and anger Through him Narsinh has godly vision And his generation to come will attain salvation:

leaves

 

I have a group of friends, some of us have been buds since high school, that take an annual “getaway” to the Cape Cod of the Midwest and rekindle to a cabin, enjoy great food, great sights and wonderful memories. We are an eclectic bunch, love and support each other dearly, but most of us either live at opposite ends of the globe or within different states, have families, busy careers and do our best to stay in touch via email, phone and the annual escape.

When we discovered Kate Jacobs The Friday Night Knitting Club we began to loosely refer to our own “group” of eclectic Momma’s, hip-Sista’s, and cherished Friends within similar shadows cast in Jacobs endearing novel. Some of us do also knit, but my abilities at this craft (my Finnish G-Ma I know is grimacing down… all those beautiful scarves, legwarmers, mittens and sweaters to my clumsy and pathetic scraps of endlessly funny looking pot holders, both of my girls can also needle me to blushing embarrassment! What I yield with a paintbrush, quill and acrylics makes up for that I guess) are definitely comical.

Two years ago it was impossible to consider this pilgrimage with our daughter’s eating disorder diagnosis, and everything in our lives just seemed to stand still, as if one was holding in the deepest breath, waiting to exhale.

Next fall, we’ll be approaching three years in… deep exhalation; I take the moment to do something for myself, heck even have some fun!

And it was well worth it, and probably why my body is clearly present back here in the city, but my mind is still back in Door County, appreciating those gifts of friendship and remembering that caring for oneself is just as important as caring for others.

As parents, caregivers, extended family members, and partners who support and care for our loved ones recovering from an eating disorder, it doesn’t matter if you head for the woods or take a bubble-bath surrounded by candles and peaceful solitude, what does matter is that you remember to take the time to honor and care for yourself as well.

Simple yet so easy to forget… so please remember.

shanti

Sarah Stevens (center) and siblings-StarTimes

I love reading authentic stories about hard-won recovery work unadulterated by a gamut of other voices and agendas. And when it’s coupled with a genuine spirit and determined passion to make a difference in the eating disorder community you can’t help but be touched and feel gratitude toward those who have not only triumphed over an eating disorder but are determined to implement change.

So while in the midst of carving the last finishing touches upon our collected Jack-O-Lantern harvest and waiting to roast the seeds, allow Sarah Stevens’s story to inspire (you can also sponsor her ‘Walk’ scheduled in November: beautifulstars@hotmail.co.uk or sponsor by phone: (09)426-4844)and cast the goblins away this Halloween Day!

Happy Samhain to my Earth-centered friends!

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