Saturday, March 8, 2014

Do you ASPIRE to recover from your eating disorder?

Is your eating disorder your own little secret? Do you hesitate to confide in others, fearing they just wouldn't get it? Do you wish you had support from someone knowledgable about the struggle to recover, yet safe to share with?

Introducing the desperately needed ASPIRE, created by Cate Sangster, who knows a lot about these struggles, as you'll read. We connected through this blog as she embarked on her journey to recover, created a book together and are now dear friends. So read on and then visit ASPIRE!

"Ask someone off the street about eating disorders and they’ll probably tell you about skinny young girls with too much vanity and not enough substance to their lives. But those of us in the know, understand that the true landscape of eating disorders looks very different to this. 

Firstly we understand that eating disorders are not a lifestyle choice. They are not about vanity or attention seeking, but rather they are a severe mental illness that cannot be cured by guilt and ridicule. 

Secondly eating disorders are not just about anorexia. Bulimia and BED are far more prevalent and equally as devastating to the sufferer, both in terms of mental and physical health. 

And thirdly, we also recognise that this is not an illness that strikes only young girls. Increasingly it is being seen in older women as well as men. However little exists in the way of exclusive treatment centres or support networks for older adults.

ASPIRE, or Adults Supporting Peers In Recovery from Eating Disorders is group I started recently to fill the gap I felt existed for adults with an eating disorder. During my own recovery from anorexia I found that one of the places I felt most at home was on the FEAST facebook page, and Laura’s Soap Box (the FEAST founder’s personal blog) as the people on these sites were not only adults, but also parents like me. However these sites were set up to support carers – the parents of young ED sufferers – so was not really my place. As much as I enjoy Laura’s perspective on things, as well as the information shared by the parents, it is not set up to support sufferers.

This is where ASPIRE fits. Adults need information and support – we are often in the treacherous position of being in charge of our own recovery, as well as, in some cases, needing to raise a family at the same time. We have unique problems, but also unique skills and insights that we can use to help each other through the minefield of recovery. Being in charge of our own recovery means we have to make the decision to attend appointments, make and eat appropriate meals, take medication, hold down jobs, pay bills etc, all while our eating disorder is in control of our minds. Not impossible, but very difficult, especially when you are not accountable to anyone but yourself (and your eating disorder).

So where can you find ASPIRE?

-        blog – adult recovery tips and answers to questions from readers
-        facebookgroup - *new* a space for members to ask questions, reach out for support and provide advice to other adults sufferers
-        twitter – random thoughts on recovery, RTs from other ED tweeters and respected researchers, as well as inspirational quotes to get you through the week
-        pinterest – boards for recovery motivation

How can ASPIRE help me?

  •        providing you with information about recent ED research
  •        providing you with motivational advice and information
  •       providing you with support  - talk to other adults in recovery, ask questions about the things that are on your mind
  •        and you can provide others with support when you are in a good place – helping others gives great purpose to our lives. We have a wealth of experience we can use to help others just starting out on the recovery journey.

The value of ASPIRE will increase with every member that joins. The more members we have to support each other and provide advice on the myriad of complicated situations that arise during recovery, the better!! Start by visiting the blog to find out more.

Look forward to meeting you soon."

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