Proud2Bme | Dear Melody: How Can I Find Support This Summer?

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Dear Melody: How Can I Find Support This Summer?

“Monthly Matters with Melody” is a monthly advice column by Dr. Melody Moore, a clinical psychologist, yoga instructor and the founder of the Embody Love Movement Foundation. Her foundation is a non-profit whose mission is to empower girls and women to celebrate their inner beauty, commit to kindness and contribute to meaningful change in the world. Dr. Moore is a social entrepreneur who trains facilitators on how to teach programs to prevent negative body image and remind girls and women of their inherent worth. Her work has been featured in the books Yoga and Body Image and Yoga and Eating Disorders: Ancient Healing for Modern Illness, as well as in Yoga Journal, Yoga International and Origin Magazine.

I don't have many friends and my family doesn't know about my eating disorder. I need someone to talk to this summerwhat should I do?

Thank you for writing. The part of you that decided to write this question is evidence that you do want to find resources to help you fight your eating disorder. It seems like you’re feeling unsupported and possibly even fearful of asking for help from your family or friends. I want to encourage you to disclose that you need support to someone who knows you.

Your eating disorder thrives in secrecy, and being alone in the struggle is not only terribly difficult, it is also, unfortunately, colluding with the part of you that wants to keep your eating disorder. I would imagine that there are ways that your eating disorder is meeting a need—or several—and it is likely that you feel ambivalent about getting the help that would mean letting go of what may seem to be serving you.  

I realize that not all friends and not all families are helpful, but perhaps sharing that you need support will at least hold you accountable to reaching for it from a source that can help.

Since I don’t know where you live, I reached out to my friend at NEDA and asked about their resources. She gave me some great options to share with you. Here are three of them:

1. NEDA has a free and confidential Helpline, which can offer support and resource options in your area.

2. NEDA also has a click-to-chat Helpline option.

3. And since it looks like you could be interested in virtual friendships, NEDA has moderated forums for Proud2Bme and NEDA.

Again, I strongly encourage you to find the courage to talk to someone about the thoughts and feelings that you are having, even if you don’t feel ready to go into the particulars of your behaviors or symptoms. You may be surprised at how privileged someone feels that you chose them to trust. And you may even find more support than you imagine is there. Maybe a trusted family member or friend can even hold you accountable to choosing one of the three options listed above.

Know that you are not alone in your struggle. So many folks fight eating disorders, and there is hope in finding freedom from it. Going it alone, however, adds additional stressors, so know that you are on the right track by reaching for help. It is here for you. 
 

Have questions for Dr. Melody? Post them in the comments below!
 

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