It felt time…it felt time to speak to the countless who are unintentionally being shamed, silenced, mocked, and pushed further into their hell during Covid 19. I am speaking to those with disordered eating and body image issues.
I understand we are all trying to make the best of a really difficult situation. I do not judge anyone for that at all. I have laughed along with the memes out there on social media. And, I have been aware of the real truth where food and alcohol play a part in coping with a difficult situation.
I am speaking to those to whom the struggle is real before the stay at home orders were in place. I stopped to reflect this week on ‘what if’ I was still in my anorexia during this time? ‘What if’ bulimia still had its horrific hold on me? Well, there are countless in this struggle as you read this. There are countless who are now locked in their homes alone battling, starving, exercising and if the virus does not kill them, their shame will. You see, no one can see them. They are not forced out into the world as they were when society was ‘open.’
If there is anything I remember for sure, while I struggled silently and publicly, I was crying for help. I was scared in my disease and did not know how to come out with the real truth. So, while I fought everyone for fourteen years in my eating disorder, I was simultaneously begging for help.
We are in trying times…is it wrong to go to the comfort food? Absolutely not. Is it wrong to joke about it a bit to bring self-awareness? No, it is a healthy form of release and true struggle in what we are all facing in a new normal of isolation and for many, depression.
It is important to note for those struggling in depression, anxiety, and isolation that healthier foods can help battle this real fight. Any chance to go for a walk, step onto your porch to sit in the sun or breathe fresh air is going to make a small difference in one’s overall state of mind.
I am simply asking that if you remember that person at the gym who you saw too often shrinking before you or a coworker who often was eating alone…now is the time to reach out if you can as we work from home and battle the real isolating struggles.
We undoubtedly know someone for who this struggle is real. Let them know you see them. Let them know you can be there to listen. Let them know while they are alone physically, they do not have to be alone mentally. There are countless resources to help walk through this time.
And, when all is said and done, go to my fall back…write a love letter to yourself. Remind yourself of who you are in every moment. Remind yourself of your personal mission statement for your journey. Give yourself a little guide map during a time, when the roads feel like they are going nowhere.
If you or someone you know are looking for tools to walk through this journey, I humbly suggest Find Your Voice Project tools. People often do not realize it is so much more than my story, rather a hands-on daily workbook with art projects and journaling prompts to guide you on life’s overall journey. They are tools I use daily to this very day.
While this time of isolation can feel like a loneliness one cannot imagine how we will get through, I trust we can with a little help from a friend.
I see you. I hear you. I am here for you.