Sunday, February 5, 2012

NEDA Month

February is filled with love. Not just because Valentine's happens to fall on the 14th. It is a month filled with awareness for a particular cause that I hold close to my heart. In fact, this cause is so important to me, that I am willing to face a new challenge in an attempt to raise more awareness. I'm aware of how broad my audience here can be. I am already blown away by the number of viewers. With this knowledge I can feel a new sense of fear being created, in turn creating my new challenge. I am about to disclose a very personal story with you, my unknown readers. I have chosen to share this story with you in hopes that it may help you, someone in your life, or just help spread a message to you and those around you. My inner advocate needs to be heard. 

I was in college and I thought I had found my niche. I was volunteering, organizing events, and studying one of my passions in hopes to create a career. Then I stumbled. I lost friends, I lost my education, I lost relationships with people I cared for. I lost weight, a lot of weight, I lost control of my thoughts. I lost everything. I had been battling an illness for over 10 years and finally was diagnosed after I hit my rock bottom. I have Anorexia Nervosa. It is an eating disorder. But I didn't quite fit into just that category according to DSM-IV. I was given a second 'label'. Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified, also referred to as EDNOS. As I sank further and further into my eating disorders, I could not see what others were so worried about. I could not see how sick I truly was. What I saw was an incredibly distorted image. 

Finally there came a point where I had nothing left to lose but life itself. I admitted myself to an out of province treatment facility in hopes to recover from this. This would be my second attempt at this program. The first time, I was not ready to get better. I somehow believed I 'needed' my eating disorders. It gave me a sense of identity, control. It gave me things I felt I could not give myself. Upon my second admission into the program, I gave it my all. I was ready to leave this nightmare behind and start living. I soaked up every singly ounce of recovery information, tool and skills I could. I challenged my distorted thinking with facts. I gave myself permission to ask for help when I need it. I left everything I knew behind and for four months I focused on healing. 

It has now been almost two years since I graduated from the Eating Disorders Recovery program. Though I have had a few slips along the way, I am doing well. I still struggle with negative and distorted thoughts and feelings, but I make sure my voice is stronger than "Ed's" (this is a name we place on our eating disorders to separate us from the disorder, it's a very effective method). When I first began my recovery journey, it was just myself. Along the way I have made incredible friends, and my support team has grown and become very strong. Their continual belief in me helps me through the harder days, and makes the great days so much more enjoyable. 

For those of you who are reading this who are suffering, or know someone who is suffering from an eating disorder, please hear me...Recovery IS Possible!! I never in a million years believed that when I heard it from others. I thought they were lying, or never had it as bad as me. But that was the eating disorder talking! It wanted me to believe I needed it. Thankfully I found a way a to be stronger than ED and you can too! You have to work very hard to not only recover from an eating disorder, but to maintain it as well. There were times when I felt all that hard work wasn't paying off, or worth the pain I felt inside, I had never been so wrong. I stuck to my recovery and now, I feel free. The energy I spent fueling my eating disorder is now focused on making more positives. Instead of leaning on the eating disorders for a sense of identity, control and false love, I am now learning how to offer these things to myself.

February is National Eating Disorder Awareness Month. Certain weeks may focus on specific themes, but they all bring light to this life threatening disorder.You can visit the following sites to learn more information on eating disorders, how to bring awareness to our family, loved ones, friends, or your community. We do not have to suffer along. We do not have to be ashamed. Most importantly, hold on to hope, and know that you are stronger than ED may try to make you think you are.




  1. I am so proud of you Sadie-Jane! You remind me often of what courage, strength, and resilience looks like. I am so blessed to have met you and now call you family! Pay it forward...I will (Kim)


  2. Kim, thank you so much. From the bottom of my heart. I feel the same way about you, and that just feels wonderful! I was fairly nervous posting this, but it is something I feel so strongly about, I couldn't keep quiet!

  3. I'm glad you are doing better in recovery! Keep up the good work!! Keep fighting! I believe in you!! :)

  4. I am so proud of you Sadie Jane. You are truly an inspiration.

  5. My dearest Sadie Jane... You are a wonderful inspiration to many people, including myself. Your journey in recovery has made you a stronger person in so many beautiful ways. Your spirit for life and all things wonderful warms my heart. I am "ubber" proud of you and am blessed to have met such an amazingly fabulous woman. Keep fighting!

  6. Thank you so much ladies for your beautiful messages!

  7. You're such a blessing to me and to others. Your strength is inspiring, your story is moving, and your courage to be authentic enough to share the deepest things about yourself on here (for the sake of others) is truly something to be imitated. Thank you so much for sharing this, and for your passion for creativity and for being you. The world is a better, richer place that is more heavy with grace for having you and your work in it.. Thank you! Namaste

    1. Thank you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. Your incredibly kind and thoughtful words mean more to me than you will ever know. I read your msg last night while I was painting in the Spidey Cave, and I am still at a loss for words to describe just how much I appreciate your comment.

      "How beautiful a day can be when kindness touches it! ~ George Elliston