Why attending eating disorder events matters: Hope

There are many, many reasons for attending conferences and events like the ICED in Boston last week. But THIS ONE made me cry.

This mother found hope by meeting fully recovered people. Robustly, happily, perfectly normal recovered people. People choosing meals with ease and enjoying them with others. People popping candies into their mouths without rules. People for whom the severity and chronicity of the disorder is not the determiner of the normality of their lives now.

It saddens me that this is not the inspiration that we see and share. What we are more likely to see, because of the nature of media sensationalism and stigma of mental illness, are examples of "lowest weight" and lists of symptoms and how ravaged people's lives can be.

We don't see the heroism, and hope, of normal. Even a lot of clinicians and experts don't see much in the way of fully recovered people and fully healed families. These examples aren't in treatment and they don't get into the media. These examples aren't necessarily writing books or evangelically charging out to change the world.

The hope of normal should not be fairy-like or rare. The hope of normal should be handed out like, well, chocolates. My wish for all parents and friends and community members is to look at eating disorder recovery as the most spectacularly boring thing -- something those of us in the ED world see over and over and want to share with the world -- normal life.


  1. I think that girls who struggle with eating disorders might benefit from my song about it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=snTF4aHWXnM&feature=youtu.be

  2. I'm not sure I'd agree about that. You have a very different idea of what eating disorders are than I do, I think. I appreciate your goal -- to help people with eating disorders.


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