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There has been a firestorm of discussion and emotion since the release of Black Swan that has me rereading Lauri Apple’s poignant article back at JEZEBEL and rethinking. once again, the subtle but profound impact that media, culture, social; and familial arenas play and interact into our consciousness, whether they are actualized physically-mentally or not.
Since my daughter has suffered from Anorexia Nervosa and was a classically trained ballet student-dancer since the age of seven, as parents you may, unfortunately, get to see the side of ‘cygne noir’ – black swan that is layered within the walls of the dance studio. When eight year old girls are talking about having stomach surgery or that they are ‘fat’, or when you realize you are in the bathroom and a dancer in the adjacent stall, is intentionally inducing vomiting, it can become more than a bit disturbing.
While I don’t ‘blame’ the media, advertisers, etc. as the sole ’cause’ in perpetuating Eating Disorders , I find it simultaneously an act of denial to disregard the power and pull these mediums have and do carry, some more than others; and of course, within varying degrees for individuals and their set of environments, circumstances, genetic traits-pre-determinants, towards tipping a scale (no pun intended) sometimes in dangerous directions.
While I’m happy my daughter chimes in that she would rather see ‘True Grit’ vs ‘Black Swan’ I do believe the conversation happening is one worth continuing and deepening.
What are your thoughts and feedback? Please feel free to share…
Body Dysmorphic Disorder effects more than just the body…
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
It’s uplifting to see the continuation and commitment towards treating and caring for those suffering with eating disorders, along with supporting and educating the families involved in their loved ones care.
Harmony Place licensed by the state office of Mental Health is the first residential program in the state of New York to open and work specifically with adolescent girls and boys ages 12-17 providing an additional resource for families vs sending their children out of state:
Harmony Place at St. Joseph’s Villa is the first program in New York State to provide residential treatment exclusively for adolescents struggling with eating disorders. Located on the suburban St. Joseph’s Villa campus in Rochester, N.Y.,
Harmony Place provides treatment and support for up to eight girls and boys, ages 12 to 17, who have had chronic difficulty maintaining recovery through medical inpatient and outpatient programs.
During the 4-6 week stay, a highly structured environment, evidence-based approaches and a caring, specialized staff help partici¬pants regain stability over their illness. Family involvement is a critical component of the program, empowering parents with the skills and understanding needed to help their teen achieve long-term recovery at home.
HARMONY PLACE program features:
-Round-the-clock supervision, with daily medical monitoring
-Safe, structured, therapeutic environment designed for adolescents
-Licensed nurses, board-certified psychiatrists, psychologists, masters-level therapists and dieticians
-Utilizes the Maudsley-Informed approach to re-feeding, on-site emphasizing family therapy, education and hands-on meal preparation
-20 + hours mandatory group therapy and 8+ hours individual & family therapy weekly
-Ability to address co-occurring disorders like chemical dependency, anxiety and depression
-Two-hours academic tutoring per school day
-Three months support following discharge
Post discharge there is a 90day follow up so that patients and families have the proper support they need to help within the transition.
For further information please contact Helena Boersma at St Joseph’s Villa 1.877.520.2667
And all life’s ripening harvest-fields await
The restless sickle of relentless fate.
But I, sweet Soul, rejoice that I was born,
When from the climbing terraces of corn
I watch the golden orioles of Thy morn.
What care I for the world’s desire and pride,
Who know the silver wings that gleam and glide,
The homing pigeons of Thine eventide?
What care I for the world’s loud weariness,
Who dream in twilight granaries
Thou dost bless
With delicate sheaves of mellow silences?
Say, shall I heed dull presages of doom,
Or dread the rumoured loneliness and gloom,
The mute and mythic terror of the tomb?
For my glad heart is drunk and drenched with Thee,
O inmost wind of living ecstasy!
O intimate essence of eternity!
~~ Summer is in full-swing and we are finally escaping for a long overdue respite. Destined long nights, mythical and ancient sites… meditating on cliffs, dusting off the lens and capturing images that provoke and provide aesthetic sustenance. Lingering and contemplative hikes up temple steps that have been etched by devotees feet countless times before– who are we but humble and gracious guests- not the arrogant and time-constrained forceful tourist.
Foraging in sacred forests with gamelons playing in the distance, and dancing deities battling the age-old epic between black&white-good&evil ending with the balance of Life, once again, restored. Then taking what was digested of the day to a lamp lit night to write, write, write. Littering my splattered journal with poetic meanderings that have waited, sometimes it seems far too long, for a time such as this.
Life has certainly been blessed and full of positive changes lately! Our daughter has courageously turned the tables on Anorexia within the past couple of months, and is enjoying a summer filled without “fear“, vibrant, healthy and triumphant in this very moment– we are so extremely proud of her!
Thank you so very much to all of you who are a constant source of human wisdom, compassion and many who have also lent a comforting shoulder to lean on. Along with the ever gracious comrades who work with me tirelessly towards creating our monthly “healing&creative space”– which will return once again late this fall; I really don’t have enough words to do justice in this meager post to give adequate appreciation.
I am deeply grateful for the small patch of ground we continually attempt to uncover to help support those with eating disorders and their families, partners and loved ones. I hope to continue to dig a deeper and wider-reaching network that will eventually have an even greater substantial and purposeful base of resources, along with caring, intelligent and genuine individuals to be of greater service for those who continue to suffer. Patience, time and perserverance– many of us know all too well the meaning of those words, but they truly do remain at the forefront of what long-term recovery entails well after weight-nutritional restoration has been established.
As always, many additional thanks to those who continue to be of support, who listen, read the blog and email, and have allowed me this welcoming space to share our family’s Journey to Recovery– much deep love.
Wishing everyone a relaxing, peaceful and enjoyable summer! See all of you when the leaves begin to crinkle and the crispness of fall begins to fill the air.~~
*Lots&Lots of LOVE to You Today and Everyday! — Mom*Dad*Sis*