Contributor: Crystal Karges, MS, RDN, IBCLC, Special Projects Coordinator for Eating Disorder Hope
1. What Drew You to Work with Eating Disorder Hope?
As one who has recovered from an eating disorder, I was looking for ways to becoming involved in the community. Going through the journey of anorexia recovery has definitely inspired and encouraged me to give back and help support others who may be experiencing a similar situation.
Having support in my life was fundamental to my continued recovery, and I wanted to find a way to offer this same support to others. I was drawn to Eating Disorder Hope, as it is an organization that rallies around and gives to the eating disorder community.
2. What Keeps You in This Work, Day after Day?
Having walked through the journey and battle of an eating disorder myself, I feel it is my duty and responsibility to help others who are also struggling. I know too well how isolating and devastating these diseases can be as well as the undeniable joy, freedom and hope that can be found in recovery.
It is my hope that through my work in the eating disorder community, I can help encourage someone who has been affected by an eating disorder. The prospect of sharing hope and healing is incredibly rewarding.
3. What Benefits Do You Hope Edh Readers Gain from Your Work with Eating Disorder Hope?
One hope I have from my work with Eating Disorder Hope is that we can continually break the many stigmas that surround eating disorders. There are many misunderstandings and myths about these mental illnesses, and unfortunately, many individuals struggle asking for help due to overwhelming guilt and shame.
My hope is that through our writings and outreach on social media, we can deliver the powerful message that every person – man, woman, teenager, child – who has been impacted by an eating disorder, can find recovery.
4. What Connection Do You Feel with Your Readers and Their Loved Ones?
As a woman in recovery from an eating disorder, I come from a deep place of empathy and understanding, and I think this is reflected in my work with Eating Disorder Hope. Whether I am interacting with our community via social media or having a discussion about something related to eating disorders, I feel connected to this special group of people around the world.
While the consequences of eating disorders are devastating, the beauty is in healing, and it is amazing how the hope of recovery can bring people together in a profound way. I just feel honored to be a part of it.
5. As a Wife and a Mother, How Important Do You Feel It Is to Relay a Message of Hope to Those Supporting Someone Struggling with an Eating Disorder?
In my personal journey of recovery, it was in fact the unconditional love and support of my family that kept me going and motivated to recover. Because of their support and dedication to seeing me recover, I found the strength within myself to overcome my battle and my struggle. My family continues to be a foundation of fortitude in my own life, and I couldn’t be more grateful for the blessing of their love.
I know how difficult it can be to see someone you love suffer with an eating disorder – you likely feel helpless, discouraged, angry, and a countless other emotions. My encouragement would be to continue loving them and pointing them towards the resources they need to recover and heal.
It is not your job to try to change them or make them well. Eating disorders are severe mental health illnesses that require the intervention of qualified professionals. But your love and support throughout their journey can make be the difference towards life and recovery.
Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on April 18th, 2015
Published on EatingDisorderHope.com