It’s really unfortunate how true the saying is, “You don’t know what you have until it’s gone.”
It seems to not matter if it’s a person or a material good, an aspect of one’s health or a passion for something that somehow disappears. Nine times out of ten, it’s missed a whole lot more once you don’t have it anymore.
As I’ve referred to a couple times in my posts, there’s a pretty solid E.D.- recovery community on social media that I’m a part of. Not all of the accounts are good (ie: recovery-focused) but the ones that are, can be really helpful and inspiring to someone who’s having a hard time. I will often go on my recovery account to look at the people I follow when I need a reminder that I’m not going through this alone, that everyone’s beautiful in a different way, when I’m looking for a word of encouragement, etc. and find it to be quite helpful. Of course, nothing can replace talking to my Heavenly Father, but sometimes it’s helpful to be able to physically look at someone who’s going through the same thing as you. Even more so when it’s someone whose made it to the other side, and is absolutely rocking their recovery.
Since I was in Ohio with Carolyn over the weekend, I didn’t really spend much time on social media, except for posting a photo of the two of us. Thank goodness, right?! How lame would that have been if I HAD spent more than a sliver of my 40 hours with her looking down at my phone.
Not being on social media though, I missed out on the news, until I returned home and spent a bit of time going through my recovery account’s newsfeed, that a prominent member of the recovery-community had passed away. Her death was a result of her anorexia.
Now, I’m not going to act like we were friends, or be dramatic and say that I’m absolutely struck with grief.
I am, however, incredibly sad, and for some reason, shocked.
Another young woman, in her early 20s, who, yes, as I witnessed from post after post, was actively engaging in recovery, died because of her eating disorder.
What a wake-up call.
As everyone throughout the community’s been sharing — and obviously, some people actually had become close with her — knowing the statistics about eating disorders are one thing. Yes, they are frightening. Eating disorders have a higher mortality rate than ANY other mental illness. But it’s so easy to say, “It won’t happen to me.”
What’s so much more impactful, is when a person is attached to that statistic.
It’s not just a number anymore.
It’s a girl.
A girl who had hopes and dreams, who had a family and friends, and who was fighting and seemingly getting better.
It’s unfortunate that it takes something like this to be a wake-up call, but I hope that if anything would come out of this incredibly tragic death, it would be that it would only push more people who are struggling to the side of recovery. Including myself.
The next time I’m tempted to restrict (which, let’s face it, will probably be my next meal), I’m going to take a minute and think about Anne. And then re-evaluate whether or not I really want to restrict that bite/piece/sip/morsel/meal.
I hope that everyone else within the recovery-community will do the same. Fight even harder against the eating disorder, in honor of Anne.
*The young woman who passed away is not named Anne, but just like I do all the other name’s in this blog, I changed it for privacy reasons.