Eating Disorder Awareness Week has now officially come to a close. We want to thank everyone who has donated to Mental Fitness Inc as an Ugly Ducklings (or otherwise) this week – we will definitely be sending everyone a little something from us to say ‘thank you’ for supporting such an amazing cause. Even if you didn’t donate, remember that you can write a positive message to them to include in another special project we are working on; they work so hard daily, it will be nice to let them know we appreciate it!
To finish off our Eating Disorder Awareness Week series, we wanted to share two blogs by Katie Devine with you all. These two blogs were written approximately seven months apart and really show the journey of someone in the early stages of recovery. In the first, “Confession: I have an eating disorder”, Katie discusses the first time she confessed to having an eating disorder, on the last day of a yoga retreat. She continues, sharing about her eating disorder’s habits and the ways it impacted her.
”All of those times I declined food in public, claiming to not like something, but going home and eating it in the privacy of my apartment, where no one would ever know; so many secrets. Intense, grueling cleanses followed by sugar binges. All or nothing, almost always; my personality so comfortable in extremes.”
Katie is so real in her blog. She shares about her eating disorder and how controlling it is of her so genuinely – it is so admirable. She also admits her struggles with even recognizing whether her behaviour was “normal”.
“How do I know how to be normal when I don’t know what normal is? Or if there even is a “normal”?… I have been asking a lot of questions in my writing, and finding answers and lessons when and where I didn’t anticipate them. But this time, I have tons of questions, and no answers.”
In Katie’s second blog seven months later, she talks about her progress in recovery as she gears up to attend her second yoga retreat and the anxiety she was going through when she knew she couldn’t hide the way her body had changed since the previous retreat. In deciding she couldn’t hide, she wrote something profound:
I surrendered. I can’t trust that what I see in myself is real. It is time to let others show me the truth.
I love this. I think there are always situations when we know our own judgment about ourselves is clouded and there’s nothing left to do but surrender and learn the truth from those around us. After this, Katie did something incredible. She writes a letter of closure to her eating disorder:
“Please leave the keys when you go. I am still going to change the locks, because I don’t trust that you didn’t make copies, and I suspect you will show up and try to let yourself in again. But it’s symbolic, so leave them behind on the counter with the garage door opener and my heart.”
You can check out the whole blog and letter here; it is quite amazing. I am grateful to Katie for being so open and vulnerable (and for letting us feature these blogs). Katie’s blog “Confessions of an Imperfect Life” is a really great read. It is one of my newly found favourite blogs!
Katie is a writer living in Santa Monica, CA. She’s an avid traveler, aspiring yogi, proud bookworm, musical theatre geek and beauty junkie. She chronicles her experiences on her blog “Confessions of an Imperfect Life.” You can also find her posting Buzzfeed quizzes on Facebook, pondering life’s mysteries on Twitter, or taking endless pictures of sunsets on Instagram.
We hope all you Ugly Ducklings have been educated, motivated and/or inspired during this year’s Eating Disorder Awareness Week. If you have anything to share sparked by one of our blogs or the guests we blogged about, please share with us below or email us – firstname.lastname@example.org). Thank you to Robyn Cruze, Caroline Rothstein, NEDA, Jennifer Pastiloff, Matt Westel and Katie Devine for allowing us to share your journeys with everyone. See below for a full link list of the blogs in this series!
Eating Disorder Awareness Week
Robyn Cruze – “I had no idea”
Caroline Rothstein – “I am not fat”
NEDA – Eating Disorder Quiz
Jennifer Pastiloff – “From starving myself to loving myself”
Matt Westel – “Rethinking everything”
Katie Devine – “A letter of closure”