Wednesday, 6 May 2009

I Want To Help

I was blown away by the responses to yesterday's post- thank you SO much for your support with this. I'm sorry that so many of you could identify with the issues touched upon... It's so heartbreaking to be on the "other side" and be able to do so little to 'help' someone who is in so much pain.

It has never really occurred to me before that I could use my own experiences to help other people. I always wanted to leave it behind and move on, and never really have to think about it or face it again. Somehow the thought of seeing my own behaviours/thoughts/feelings mirrored in somebody else once I am completely well has not been of interest to me. I want to write a book one day for my own 'closure' on this period in my life. A nice story with a beginning, a middle and an end. Tie it up in a neat bound package and stash it away- on paper and no longer invading my everyday moves.

I started thinking more about this last night- how strongly I feel about people in distress getting the care and support they deserve. How I want so desperately to be somebody to talk to who "gets it" when so many treatment providers learned all they know from textbooks and lectures. I feel like I WANT to reach out and help in any way that I can. I don't quite know how. I don't want to train as a nurse or a counsellor because immediately I then change from being a peer/survivor, to being a distant professional and I think, for me, what has helped most has been talking to people who have been where I have and made it over to 'the other side'. Not because I particularly want to spend the rest of my life rehashing what has been a hellish period for me, but because I want to try and help others come out of it the way I hope to.

I'd still love to write a book one day but with more than just a, "then I lived happily ever after". i want it to show the whole journey- from where I was to where I am and how it happened for ME. No two people travel the same journey but we meet similar bumps in the road, get caught in similar thunderstorms, fall down similar wells and I'd hope that others can relate to at least parts of my story and gain some inspiration from it.

Kind of jumping ahead of myself here- I''m nowhere near the point of being in a position to do much more than say, "I understand and I care" right now. This feels important to me now though. I don't want to be seen as someone who was sick/dysfunctional/depressed/anorexic: I want to be seen as someone who MADE IT THROUGH and offer support and strength to anyone willing to listen. I don't want to preach and sing some cheesy "recovery ra-ra" song- I want to be honest about what I went through and show that it can be done. More of a "this is my story- tell me yours, tell me what you need, tell me how I can help" approach.

This is the first time I've really thought about it and it's made me feel like I have some sort of purpose transcending my own recovery. A chance to help someone else. If I can make just one person believe that suicide is not their ONLY option, then it would have been worth it. I mean that. I can't even put into words quite how passionate I am about this, but seeing/feeling what me and my friends have gone through over the last few months with so many lives's really knocked me for 6 and jolted me into this compulsion to reach out and do whatever I can to help

I set up a group on Facebook last night to put together lists of helplines, books, etc that might help people in crisis. If you ARE on facebook, please join and spread the word.


Onto some fabulous food... (because food is an important part of a balanced diet!)

Today's breakfast:

Bran flakes, mashed banana and Fage cherry twin pot. A.K.A. banana cherry cheesecake. I am developing a slight obsession with these twin pots- I usually eat the plain Fage, but these are great...dessert for breakfast? Count me in!

New lunch!

Curried chicken salad (with raisins and dried apricots in it- amazing!), spinach and tomato on wholewheat roll. This was messy to eat, but tasted good- even after I ended up dropping half of it on my lap. Oops...laundry time!

I have a horrible cold so my appetite has been non-existant today. I think my body needs proper nutrition regardless in order to fight this off so am pushing through. Not sure if I am going to work tomorrow- I don't think that coughing and sneezing all over the switchboard and shared headset will go down well! Meanwhile, drinking lots of cups of tea, staying bundled up and resting.

Hope everyone is having a great week, and for those of you stressed with finals, etc- it's almost OVER! Thinking of you all!


itsawrapteacher said...

You make a difference in my life just by blogging about your daily struggles and victories. Thanks!

Sheena said...

Hey sweetie~

I joined your facebook group and think it's agreat idea. I have also been wanting to help in some way. For a while I was looking at how to volunteer for a suicide hotline, but then I thought that I am not stable enough in my life to do that and if something happened to a person I was talking to, I am not sure I would handle it well.

The facebook group is a great start though. Take Care!

dancelikenooneiswatching said...

you are amazing you know that :) love your outlook xxxxxxxxxxxx

Syd said...

Thanks for all that you do. I wish that more people would be involved and care to help others who are struggling.

Anonymous said...

hi hun,
i think its so beautiful that your realising you want to help people overcome this and be there and be ablt to let them know you get what their going through. i do too, i defo want to do something recovery related in the future and want to help people recover when im fully recovered.
and your blog makes a difference already hun :) its inspiring to read!
have a great wednsday,

ElleMigliore said...

I think it's so great that you want to use your experience to help others. However, i think just by reading your blog, so many are inspired for change, especially the way you write. Have you ever thought about looking on the EDReferral website for volunteer ops? Here is a link from the NED website.. except it's back here in the states.
Whatever you end up doing, i have a feeling it will be great.

And no, i never made it to your neck of the woods when I went to England but i've always wanted to go there! Now i have an excuse to travel there!! ;)

ElleMigliore said...

Anonymous said...

I joined your group too :) I feel the same way - I wish I could use my experiences to help people, but I'm not strong enough to do it personally yet, I wouldn't want to do it as a career and although I'd love to write a book one day too I want to wait until I am recovered. It's frustrating, but motivating too.
I hope you feel better soon, it seems like everyone has a cold at the moment! Must be a computer virus :P

Anonymous said...

I'm lusting after your breakfast. I've never tried the Fage + fruit/honey, but my mama LOVES it!

Stef said...

How awesome of you to make a fb group for this, you are off to a great start! I know that at this point you don't feel "recovered enough" to be a role model for those in the depths of their ED, but you're already a role model for me! I think the book that you'll eventually right will be amazing...there is definitely a void in "Ed books"/recovery memoirs that needs to be filled! They are all either written by experts who haven't experience an ED for themselves or who write from the clinical perspective which is more helpful for those SUPPORTING the person with the ED, there are cheerleader-y type books like "Life without Ed" or there are books like "Wasted" which are sort of ED-porn in a way, and can be triggering if read during a self-destructive phase! I think you have so much to share and offer, I really admire you for pursuing this! Recently I came to a similar conclusion, I WANT to help people who have EDs, but I didn't know how. So I'm planning to major in psych :)

Sorry you're not feeling well, but I'm glad you're continuing to eat and give your body the fuel it needs to fight off that nasty cold!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for being so strong.

Telstaar said...

Hey hun,

Here in Australia we often have "Consumer consultants" and "mentors" in some of the ed programs. The consumer consultants are actually part of the treatment team but help the other professionals in the team to ease off and see things from the patients perspective. They really help to get alongside the patient.

Also the mentors in another program I know of are people who are almost recovered or recovered from an eating disorder and their sole job is to help encourage and listen to people that are in the process of recovery within the treatment program and afterwards!

I say this because to me, what you're saying is that you would love to consider something that is this half way point and I wanted to share with you to not give up on that idea because already there are roles out there (paid and everything) to do just that!!!

I think you'd be great at it just from the heart and compassion you demonstrate in your posts :).

Don't give up the dream and if it seems to far away, you never know, you might be the one to make it a reality!!

Telly xo

Lexi said...

I joined your group. Great idea. You are so strong and wonderful for reaching out to people in so many ways.
Love always,