Two years ago I was invited by the Eating Disorders Coalition to participate in the Spring 2011 Congressional Briefing. I put on a fancy suit and gave a speech on Capitol Hill about my experiences with anorexia and how drastic action is needed to save lives from eating disorders.
“When I should have been making friends, focusing on school work, and growing into the person I was going to become, I instead lost two years of my life to anorexia, two years of my life that I can’t ever get back. My senior year in high school, I had a falling out with some close friends, and fell into a deep depression. I lost my appetite, and couldn’t sleep. I didn’t know what was happening – everything occurred so quickly. Though I had visibly lost weight, it was a few months after my problems began that I ever bothered weighing myself. Co-workers who didn’t know me well would compliment me on the weight I’d lost. My friends could tell something was wrong, they just didn’t know how to approach it. Not knowing what was wrong myself, when they’d ask if I was OK I would insist that I was fine (a word that a good friend of mine refers to as ‘the real F-word’). Eventually, someone at work asked me how much weight I had lost. The thought hadn’t crossed my mind, and out of sheer curiosity I went home and weighed myself, and my bitter relationship with numbers began.”
If anyone is curious what I’ve been up to this summer - a lot! I just finished taking a class about Women & Politics, and we had to write a research paper on policy. Naturally, I chose eating disorders!
It’s a long article, but still provides a concise history on mental health coverage, health reform laws, and why/how treatment for eating disorders is habitually denied by insurance companies. THIS is the reason I do lobby work, and it’s something you (yes, any one of you!) can help work to change.