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Calling all women who battle anorexia

By Anonymous May 3, 2009 - 1:58pm
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I am looking for women who are committed to overcoming anorexia for mutual support. It is shocking to me that nothing has been posted yet. I know you are out there!
I don't have anorexia for the usual reasons. I don't think I am fat. When I was growing up, there was not enough food to go around, and I had to learn to feel strong without food. I learned that it was more important for my brothers to eat than for me to eat. I learned that one had to "earn" the right to eat by proving their need, such as being an athlete.

I procrastinate, I refute the messages that are ingrained in me when I recognize them (which is not always in a timely manner), and I "just forget" to eat. I try hard; I have been eating five servings of fruit every day, but got weak and realized that I have not been eating enough protein! I focus on one aspect and another gets neglected. I need to go eat right now.

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I think EmpowHer promises things they can't deliver. This is Sue and I received the following reply from Alison:
I'm happy to hear back from you, and I know you and many other women are struggling and suffering. I am so sorry that you are struggling---I wish it did not have to be this way--but you can gain strength knowing that there are many resources that can be helpful in your journey to recovery:

1. EmpowHER discussion threads, online forums and Connect with other women:

2. ANAD Support Groups: http://www.anad.org/getHelp/findsupportgroup/

3. NEDA Support Groups & Treatment Options: http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/get-help-today/

4. Something Fishy Discussion Forums & Treatment Options: http://www.something-fishy.org/online/options.php

Tina, my supervisor, will also "talk" with you soon, and re-iterate the information I have provided. EmpowHER is working on creating more structured support groups, and in the meantime, I hope you can find the discussion forums and Connect With Other Women options helpful, in combination with finding a more formal/structured support group in your area (or online). There are many great resources already in place for you to utilize, based on your needs in this moment.

Take care,
Sue here again. What do ya'll want to do? Clearly, many of us need help urgently. Do we want to try to support each other more here on the discussion thread, or take our business elsewhere, as Alison has suggested?

March 6, 2010 - 10:21am
(reply to Hap)

I would like to re-iterate the information Sue posted from our Private Messages (PM's).

Most importantly, as Sue said, that "many of us need help more urgently." If you feel this could relate to you, please seek help immediately through a professional medical provider, or a trusted family or friend. There are no online support groups or discussion threads that currently exist to meet any needs that are "urgent" in nature.

Many women who are struggling with an eating disorder require different types of treatment, depending on what stage of recover they are in at the time. There is no "one-size fits all" treatment, and each individual will need to be open and flexible to following their personal journey to recovery to find the treatment that best fits their unique needs, personality, time constraints, motivation/initiative, beliefs, budget, health insurance requirements, physical location, transportation availability, etc.

Fortunately, there are so many options available for each of you, and we can help you navigate through your choices.

Here are a few different types of Treatment Options:
1. Online support groups (without professional guidance; peer-to-peer or Moderator)
2. Online support groups (with professional therapist facilitation)
3. In-person support groups (without professional guidance; peer-to-peer)
4. In-person support groups (with professional therapist facilitation)
5. Team approach within medical community, usually including Registered Dietitian, Psychologist and Medical Doctor.
7. Out-patient treatment center
8. In-patient treatment center
9. Hospitalization
10. Other options: review books regarding various treatment modalities, joining community-based organization, asking for help from family and friends, etc.

If you are interested in learning more about any/all of these treatment options, please reply and we would love to provide you with more information, or help guide you towards the best resource(s) for you. EmpowHER is able to offer Discussion Forums that include peer-to-peer and/or Moderator support in an unstructured, free-flowing environment. You may also choose to Connect with others who are concerned about anorexia or eating disorders through EmpowHER. If you are searching for a more structured support group that is facilitated by a trained professional therapist, there are many options available to you at this time through the other resources mentioned above. (They are not "businesses", but are health-oriented organizations, like EmpowHER). EmpowHER does not currently offer a trained professional therapist to facilitate an online support group, but it is something begin considered.

Please let us know what resource(s) and treatment options you would like for us to discuss more in depth, and I would also love to hear what treatment options you are currently using.

March 7, 2010 - 8:12pm

I thought I was replying to Alison when I wrote the previous email at 8:14pm. If any of you are able, please email Alison Beavers and tell her what you want in a support group.

March 4, 2010 - 6:17pm

Nice to read your story. It is very difficult for people to admit that they have an Eating Disorder. It is very important that you understand right now that you are NOT alone! There is help available so that you do not have to live this way anymore. Good treatment for eating disorders usually will consist of several treatment options rather than just one in particular. Some might require hospitalization because you are malnourished, some require medication, and others counseling, it is impossible to list all of the possible treatments as each one is uniquely tailored. It is better if you consult a professional on treating eating disorder and analyze your actual kind of problem. It is very nice that you shared your story with empowher. You will surely find a good result. I came across some useful treatment information to cure eating disorder here. May be it helps you too.

October 22, 2009 - 10:15pm
EmpowHER Guest

I have had anorexia and bulimia for 9 years, I am now 25 and still struggling. Hospitalized 4x and my BMI is still 13. I can relate 100% to those feelings you listed around worth and food. I constantly feel like "i don't deserve to feel hungry and eat...I fear that I am 'being lazy'...b/c I didn't do some strenuous exercise or hard work, yet I'm
hungry. I don't know when or where my nightmare will end. Its the piolet of my life, regrettably.

October 22, 2009 - 4:09pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

This is me to a "T". Exactly. 25, living with ED for 10, hungry but can't bring myself to eat as though I "dont deserve it". Stave it off...then if I eat, I throw it up b/c it "contaminates" me.
My life is weak, sad, staggnet and hell. I hate my ED, but I cant go along with out it. Its consumed me and bigger than me. HELP

January 8, 2010 - 6:39pm
(reply to Anonymous)

Hi, I am Sue. I wrote the email that started this thread. EmpowHer is supposed to be setting up a support group for us. Please hang in there and keep in touch.

January 8, 2010 - 7:00pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Oh! I just want to hug you! By the way, my name is Sue and I hope you will continue to post. I have a great book to recommend; I am well into it and it is giving me a lot of insight. The title is Gaining, and it is written by Aimee Liu, a survivor herself. I had read an excerpt in Ms. magazine that made me recognize that she knows what she is talking about, so I checked it out of the public library. I found myself taking so many notes that by Chapter Five, I went to Amazon.com and ordered my own copy, so I can flag the many parts to which I may wish to later refer while on my journey.
Are you willing to figure out when your nightmare began? We both have a lot of work to do. I would love to support each other in our journeys.

October 22, 2009 - 5:10pm
Expert HERWriter

Wow...what an amazing story!! Thank you for sharing your story and for wanting to start a support group here on EmpowHer. It is so important to have people who can validate how you're feeling and help support you. It's one day at a time and in most cases, it's one minute at a time.

I know many women who have battled anorexia, but not for the reason that you've just stated. I would never have thought about a young girl not having enough to eat and so at a young age, you learn to go without. So fascinating. The sheer fact you've recognized why you have anorexia, and how aware you are of your eating habits is a wonderful first step. The second big step is coming to EmpowHer to start a support group. You rock!!

I was never diagnosed with anorexia but probably battled it about 10 years ago. I decided to become a vegetarian, so I did. For me, there is no middle ground. When I do something, I do it full speed ahead. So, I cut everything out of my diet, including the good fats my body needed. It was all about control for me. I felt so out of control and had been controlled by many around me that I felt this was one area where NO ONE could tell me what to do or how to do it. As one of my friends explained it to me, it's like forgetting to put oil in the engine. Eventually, the engine freezes up. That's what happened to me. I thought I looked good and I thought I was healthy. Well, guess what, I was the only one who thought I looked good and I was SO NOT healthy!! One of my friends finally called me one day as I was having so many health issues by the way and said, you look like S--t. I was mortified. So, I called another dear friend and she said the same thing. Well, that got me thinking...could it be my strict vegetarian diet had been causing me more harm then good?? Sure enough, that is exactly what was happening to me.

After reading a great book by Dr. Diane Schwarzbein called the Schwarzbein Principle, I finally understood what I had been doing to my body both internally and externally. It was then when I started to slowly reintroduce meat and fats into my diet. It took me a while but I started to feel soooo much better after a few short weeks.

Interestingly enough, my periods had stopped and I developed high cholesterol from not having all the food groups in my diet. I never put two and two together though. Remember, I thought I was looking good and feeling good..HA! Not to mention my dry skin and hair etc, etc. There are many more side effects than one realizes when we don't have enough good fat in their diet. We are a skinny society. We need to become a healthy society. Skinny is not all it's cracked up to be...just ask me. I learned it first hand.

Have you gone through any type of treatment?? What can we do to support you? I'm glad you stopped posting your story to go eat something:) We need to get you to the point where all aspects of your health are not being neglected. I can tell by your post that you are a very special person. I'd love nothing more then to support you. If I have to remind you every day to eat and get enough of what your body needs....it would be my pleasure. Anything I can do or we can do as a company, we will. Just let us know what you need from us and let's see how we can support you, as well as supporting others who have overcome or are still fighting the anorexia battle.

Best in health,

May 3, 2009 - 3:14pm
(reply to Michelle King Robson)

Michelle, I need help to start a support group. I feel that no one cares about me.

January 3, 2010 - 4:16pm
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