Good cheer

One of my pet peeves about eating disorders in the media is how grim recovered people appear. I understand why - we want people to take the issue seriously - but for those looking for the light at the end of the tunnel some good cheer - even some silliness might be nice.

And in that spirit may I introduce you to the recovery videos at the marvelous Half Of Us web site.

Yeah, I wish the young people would say "this is a biological illness not a choice" and I wish they'd say "parents shouldn't wait until their kids ask for help to step forward." But I'd show these clips to a recovering patient, not something I'd say about most ED media. The good cheer, the warmth, the shiny normal YOUTH of these kids is such an antidote to grimness.

Some day I'd like to create a video just of recovered people laughing, giggling, guffawing, (whole) milk from the nose laughing.


  1. see, this is what i keep telling people. i joke about what i've been through (sometimes, to an "inappropriate" degree, but only with those who i'm very close to). my family has been through a lot, especially in the past year. but you know what? we're all alive, so why waste that time being grim about it?? yes, we understand the seriousness of 3 of our conditions. but if we can't laugh about the fact that 3/4 of us have conditions (and the fact that my mom is apparently indestructible - knock on wood), how fun is life?? i love hearing people talk about their recovery, but i can't stand when it's too serious. you fought to have the life you deserve - show how worth it it was!

    i take eating disorders very seriously, as well as recovery, but i feel like people respond much better to my advocacy when i can slip in a little humor about it. i think it's because when you can joke about something, there's no way it can be bigger than you. and if it's not bigger than you, it automatically becomes manageable.

  2. I spoke to a concerned mother just starting on the journey and amongst sharing a moment of seriousness we paused for a laugh at the things we do to help our child through recovery.
    Laughter brings Lightness and Life to everyone, even if your in the thick of it.

  3. I agree - although eating disorders are of course the most serious of matters, that doesn't mean that any discussion of them should be surrounded by a black border and delivered in tones only suitable for a victorian funeral director. The girls are lovely - as indeed are the girls I know locally (including my own dear daughter) who are struggling with these illnesses, and I know that one of the really great things about our local support group is that we always have something to smile at.

  4. I'm all for shining a light on ED recovery in a way that lifts the spirit. I think that it would be wonderful if the first thing my daughter saw after breaking down and revealing how sick she had become is a person or video letting her see that even though recovery is a difficult trail it can be conquered. She has such a wonderful gift of humor herself so we did use it in beating the ED. She hoola hooped her "fake it till I make it" mantra one day. It was a good exercise for her and she is so much wiser than me in forcing new messages to stick.
    I hope that one day she'll share her story but if she doesn't I'm cool with that too. In a way I prefer NOT giving the ED anymore attention than it has taken. There comes a time when it's best for those with the ED to walk away and not look back. I protect and respect the right to move on and live life fully.(no ED material invited)

  5. HalfOfUs is great!

    I think the more these stories are shared in a compassionate manner, not used to push a commercialized agenda, $$-profitting, etc. but soley for what they are meant for-- it's so damn incredible for those needing that extra support and knowing they are indeed NOT ALONE. On such a simplier and basic note, this is what we as humans SHOULD be doing.

    Emmy you are so head on, our kids truly have: "fought to have the life you/they deserve"- YES! I tell my d this whenever she's having a particularly difficult moment- or is letting ED get the better of her. She's come SO far in the past year-- why chuck that to something so damn life-sucking and pernicious like the empty pit of an eating disorder? Kick ED's butt!

    And I say this with both a wink of an eye, and dead-on seriousness-- we have to be human too. My heavens we never would have made it this far together if we just were completely doom 'n gloom-- recovery DOES happen and IS possible!

    It also is profoundly invaluable and really makes a broader impact, in addition to having family support, etc., by joining honest and open perspectives from those who have "been there" and/or are actively engaged in his/her recovery when they are at a stage to begin taking that additional step.

    I think these voices can only help our kids see too that this is an illness that can be met and challenged with courage, vulnerability, and success!



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