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There is life outside of eating disorders

people do recover and there is a life outside of what is holding you captive.

Published on Sunday, March 6, 2016

Enlarge photo

Marian Baker’s the hand represents the eating disorder.
 

Marian Baker’s the hand represents the eating disorder.

 



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'The love piece that I did represents how I want to feel – light, airy and happy.'
Mary Lydia Wilkinson
 
 

'The love piece that I did represents how I want to feel – light, airy and happy.'

Mary Lydia Wilkinson

 

 



Enlarge photo

'Fear was about how I was feeling at the beginning of my road to recovery.'
Mary Lydia Wilkinson
 
 

'Fear was about how I was feeling at the beginning of my road to recovery.'

Mary Lydia Wilkinson

 

 

By Alexa Hone

Imagine you are trapped and can’t get out. No one else around you knows, no one else can help, but you. It’s like that monster from your childhood, who lurked under your bed finally came out and held you captive.

National Eating Disorder Awareness (ED) allows individuals to understand this does exist, people do recover and there is a life outside of what is holding you captive.

Furman University hosted an ED Awareness week, with guest speakers, love your body events, and had individuals’ artwork on display for those who have experienced a relationship with the “ED monster.”

“My art represents two different feelings,” Mary Lydia Wilkinson said. “The love piece that I did represents how I want to feel – light, airy and happy – and the piece called ‘fear’ was about how I was feeling at the beginning of my road to recovery.”

Beth Riley the executive director of the Eating Recovery Center in South Carolina named a few statistics for individuals to understand this is ongoing and there is help available:

• 30 million people have an eating disorder

• 85 percent of them are children and adolescents

• 1 out of 10 get treatment

• 35 percent get treatment by experts

• 60 percent are normal weight and above, that’s why they get overlooked

“An event like this is really important to get the word out there because I don’t think a lot of people are receiving treatment that need it,” Wilkinson said. “Recognizing you have a problem is a huge step and you should congratulate yourself for that.”

Marian Baker’s art represents the eating disorder hand called “ED”. She describes her first drawing, which was black and white, as “life under the spill, a black and white world, yes or no, good or bad.”

Her second drawing is filled with colors. There is brightness that fills the paper as she describes, “a new life with an upward hand toward possibilities.”

The ED monster does not discriminate, understanding the beauty and worth within ones self early on allows individuals to be filled with their own joy and not other’s expectations.

Julie Holland Faylor, Senior Vice President and Business Development for Recovery Eating Center, shared her own experience battling her eating disorder. Sharing a viral photo with the audience “girls aren’t born hating their bodies – we teach them too.”

With eyes open wide, and truth seen before our eyes, a moment of reflection takes place, adding another example, Faylor said. “It’s not the magazine that’s bad it’s how you look at it, it’s how you read it.”

Each individual is different in his or her own light, everyone’s path in life is different, but that’s the beauty of the world. We all have something to offer and no one is a better you than yourself.

“People should be aware it starts early, seeds are planted early,” Baker suggested, when talking about personal experiences. “It’s important to understand the disease, to know what to say and what not to say.”

Everyone’s story, individual journeys and outcomes are different. For individuals who think they may be struggling, but are held down from the “ED” monster you are not alone.

Visit here to take an anonymous three-minute screening that could save a life.

 

 

 

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