“Prevention Works. Treatment is Effective. People Recover.“– National Recovery Month, SAMHSA
In honor of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) declaration of September as National Recovery Month, we are devoting this blog to a discussion of recovery and eating disorders. It is not enough to educate about the warning signs and symptoms of eating disorders as a means of prevention- it is equally important to emphasize treatment and recovery as part of the healing process.
When we began the journey of creating the film “Someday Melissa, the story of an eating disorder, loss and hope,” we thought that it could be a powerful educational tool but had no idea about its potential as a component of treatment and recovery for eating disorders. Since the release of the film, we have been overwhelmed with support and praise from clinicians who have used Melissa’s story in treating patients struggling with eating disorders, as well as those who are in recovery.
Although Melissa’s life was cut short, her writings have become an inspiration for those who identify with her struggles in fighting an eating disorder and who are hoping for a brighter future. Many now in recovery have been encouraged by the film to reflect on what their own “somedays” were while still in ED’s grip, and how so many of those “somedays” have now come true.
Today we are thrilled to announce that we will be offering supplemental material for eating disorder professionals and clinicians who are using the film with their patients on the road to recovery. A new publication, titled “Guided Discussions for Recovery,” has been designed for professionals for use in conjunction with the film as an opportunity to utilize Melissa’s journal for helping them discuss eating disorders and the issues for those struggling. Using poetry and art as tools, this publication will allow patients to explore their thoughts and experiences about eating disorders using Melissa’s story. This is just one more way that Melissa, even in her absence, is making a difference in the prevention, treatment and recovery of eating disorders.
The “Guided Discussions for Recovery” publication will be presented at the upcoming screening and discussion at Linden Oaks at Edwards in Naperville, IL on September 28th; further details and registration information are available on our website. Judy Avrin will also be speaking on the role of the film in education, treatment and recovery from eating disorders.
Additional information on how to order the film with the “Guided Discussions for Recovery” will be posted to our website once it is available. If you have any questions please contact Beth-Ellen Keyes at firstname.lastname@example.org or (646) 246-1081
It’s always interesting to look back at your younger self and in this case, it helps me see how I got to where I am today.
My somedays pre-ED, somewhere around age 7:
Someday I’ll be a lawyer.
Someday I’ll be an astronaut.
Someday I’ll be a writer.
Someday I’ll grow up and get married and have 10 kids (haha!).
My somedays during ED, around age 11 and up:
Someday I’ll wake up and eat a meal.
Someday I won’t berate myself over every little thing in a quest for perfection.
Someday I’ll be an actress.
Someday I’ll be happy.
Someday I’ll go a whole day without hating myself.
Someday, someone somewhere will understand me.
Someday I’ll understand me.
Someday I won’t wake up every morning and wish I was dead.
So which somedays did I accomplish?
Well, I’m not a lawyer or astronaut (turns out you have to go to school for a really long time to become a lawyer and the whole idea of space actually creeps me out). I’m not married and no way do I want 10 kids (what was I thinking??). I am a writer though.
And from my ED days?
Well, I’m happy to say I can cross off every single one of those somedays from my list. It was a long road, a hard road but I wake up happy most days and I eat. I don’t wish I was dead and I have a much better understanding of myself and I don’t hate me at all – in fact, I think I’m pretty awesome. And I no longer berate myself over every imagined slight. Does this mean everything’s perfect? Not by a long shot. I have bad days, I have sad days but most of the time I am genuinely happy and able to cope with what comes my way. And that’s saying something.
So what are my somedays for the future?
Someday I won’t think of food as the enemy (I admit to still having trouble with this one).
Someday I’ll fall in love and it will be real.
Someday I won’t even be able to remember what the idea of “perfection” feels like. I won’t be able to think of one good reason to be “perfect”.
Someday I’ll travel the world.
Someday I’ll change at least my portion of the world, if not more, simply by being able to say with authority “It gets better” because someday, somewhere the person that needs to hear that will hear it and they’ll finally believe it.
What are your somedays? What somedays have you already accomplished? Share yours with us!