So, I debated posting anything that directly related to myself during NEDA week, but then, on this last day, I felt a sudden longing to do so. What better way to stress the importance of eating disorder awareness in the intersectional feminist community than by relating it to the story of a person I know so well?
#BoycotttheBefore is a movement that celebrates recovered bodies or bodies in recovery, no matter their relation to a lowest or highest body weight associated with an eating disorder. It's certainly awing to see a picture of myself like the one on the right, taken over two years after I began recovery from anorexia, and not remember the "before" body.
At the same time, however, I am also reminded of what it meant to starve, to treat my body with such disregard, hatred, and lack of love. I still grapple with it some days. Other days, I am reminded of all that I've become in its aftermath: I'm an author and a good student and a kind person and have a good heart. These are the things that hold value—certainly more value than any coveted body type.
Most importantly, though, I wanted to post this to emphasize what this community has meant to my recovery and growth as a person. I am inspired everyday by your strength, brilliance, and kindness. You are people that I feel lucky to have known, to call my friends. You have taught me the value and weight of existence. I am still growing, recovering, and learning. But now I do it in the comfort that there is a community of people with hearts as big as mine and voices just as loud that want to make this world better. For it, I am forever in your debt.
So, as we move forward from #nedawareness week, remember to be compassionate and kind as you have always been. And let's continue to support mental health legislature and respect for those suffering with mental illnesses. Together, we can change the world.
I am so grateful.
So, so grateful.