by Emma, EDNS Mentee
I had only been struggling with anorexia a short while before a family member suggested I try the Eating Disorders NS peer support group. I won’t lie, I was hesitant at first. I was feeling the all too common feeling that I, “wasn’t sick enough to get help.” The first meeting was rough but something told me to go back and so I did! What a great choice that ended up being. Through the support group, I didn’t only meet wonderful people whose stories touched me in profound ways but I also learned so much about my disorder and what recovery could look like for me.
Later I did the one-on-one peer mentoring. It really was invaluable to sit down with someone fully recovered and see it is possible and that no, this person is not all the things I feared I’d become if I fully embraced recovery myself. I think all of us who have struggled with EDs can fear losing something we value in the recovery process—I know I did! But to sit down and talk with someone who’s been there, I found, gave me the extra motivation I needed to keep going when I wanted to turn back or found myself getting stuck.
It really was invaluable to sit down with someone fully recovered and see it is possible.
If you’re thinking of attending a peer support group or one-on-one mentoring but you find yourself hesitating—I get it! I did the same. For me it was the whole “not sick enough” that held me back at first. For you, it could be that or anything else . . . I know EDs affect us all differently and promise different things to each of us.
The support from Eating Disorders NS gave me tools to start recovery. There’s no harm in giving it a shot. You can even just listen like I did the first few meetings! It’s one of the most supportive and understanding spaces I’ve been in.
Recovery is very difficult, but what I’m starting to understand is, staying stuck in the perpetual loop of an ED is so much worse.
I’ll leave you with this quote I found on Jennifer Rollin’s Instagram account (jennifer_rollin)
“You are not alive to just pay bills and lose weight” – Caroline Dooner
Eating disorders are serious, complex mental illnesses that can impact anyone. With support and treatment, full recovery is possible.
Eating Disorders Awareness Week is a nationally recognized week designed to raise awareness of eating disorders. In Canada, it is held February 1-7, 2020