Thinking about the topic of community I referred back to the following post that I wrote some time ago...
Worthy of a Hospital Bed and Other Concurrent Changes
Ten years ago there wasn’t the awareness or understanding of eating disorders to the degree in which there is today. The stigma surrounding the disease was great especially as I lived in a small country town in regional Australia. I will never forget my mother being told by a nurse at the local hospital that I was wasting a bed because I wasn’t really ill like other people were: "she needs to stop being such a drama queen and eat something" is something along the lines in which she said." (True story).
Fast forward ten years and I am pleased and so proud to see all the changes that have taken place. Organisations such as ANAD, Beat, MGEDT and the Butterfly Foundation (Australia) that work tirelessly in their efforts to raise awareness and support have changed the world we live in for the better (can I give them all a standing ovation?)
Most notably it is the blogging world that struck me most with so many remarkable people from various walks of life writing very openly and honestly about their battle with EDs. It became very evident that a significant switch had taken place where people were no longer hiding away with shame as much and instead speaking up louder and reaching out more. Perhaps because EDs still may not be viewed by wider society with the same seriousness as cancer for example, there is a need to hold onto each other just that bit more tighter just to get through to the otherside.
Sometimes the difference between life and death in ED recovery is being heard and understood and for a long time the general population wasn't doing neither. I am so grateful that the days are long gone where people are getting turned away so easily from hospital beds in such a inhumane way - this will always be part of the good ol' days that I don't miss at all ♥
A community for us recovering now exists and it has saved me and I am sure many others on numerous occasions as well. As long as we unite and support each other things can only keep getting better including and most importantly US!
Within the community that surrounds more people do care about and understand the true reality of eating disorders as serious life-threatening diseases much more than they used to. I do still feel there remains a certain element of invisibility about EDs and that the illness is still somewhat kept behind closed doors and not as openly spoken about like other afflictions perhaps. BUT I am very optimistic that more much needed change will too come to pass as I have already seen a substantial transformation of awareness in a short span of only fourteen years.
Onwards and upwards!