Thursday, February 25, 2010
Most of us know that this week is National Eating Disorders Awareness Week. Whenever NEDAW rolled around in the past, there used to be a slight awkward, uneasiness feeling for me. It's not that I didn't think awareness for eating disorders was important (far from it), but it left a two-fold feeling of worrying that someone was going to find out/guess and also feeling like a fraud for not being more proactive at recovery.
I see now how much this thinking was flawed as NEDAW week is supposed to bring eating disorders to the forefront in talking about it rather than just beating around the bush.
There's been much support shown through twitter, facebook, various articles, college events, advocacy groups, news channels, etc. It's phenomenal actually! It's funny, because if you follow me on twitter, you know I post a number of articles related to eating disorders, body image, mental health, psychology, as well as just my own random thoughts and observations. But yet, sometimes, I still feel on the sidelines. Some may call me an advocate of sorts, though I feel uncomfortable with that label. In all honesty, I'm not sure what I'd call myself. Perhaps, I feel this way because I'm not truly in the public eye, putting myself out there or disclosing my own struggles with eating disorders. But in real life, how many of us are really? How many of us could include ourselves in the campaign to talk about it beyond just the medium of the internet?
I know there is more to advocating than simply talking about it. Advocating is about awareness, education, health, and recovery. It's about defending and supporting the cause. It's about connecting and reaching out to those who need help. I am always amazed at the wonderful eating disorder/body image/self esteem advocates out there. They each make a difference and place their own stamp on the world. Although I may not put myself in the category of "advocate," I am hopeful that I can make a small difference in this corner lot I have here.