I love waking up the sound of rain on my window pane. Hearing the patter, reminds me to wash myself of the worries and stresses of the previous day, and to start today by looking through a fresh set of binoculars.
Two days ago, I went to the Demi Lovato concert (side note she’s AMAZING live – phenomenal vocals!), and had a great eye/mind opening experience that changed my life for the better. Before the concert started, I could hear the people around me talking. Surrounded by conversations that were filled with profanity and negative tones, I was extremely frustrated. Personally, I have a problem with negativity. I don’t like it, I don’t want to hear it, and I appreciate it when it is kept as far away from me as possible. To be honest, I had to fight the urge to turn around and tell people to be respectful to their surroundings, especially when their surroundings included a group of young girls.
However, my perception of them changed when Demi Lovato started talking about eating disorders, self-harming, and the importance of fighting for yourself and getting help. As she discussed this taboo subject, I noticed that I was surrounded by girls who couldn’t fight back their tears. I came to the realization that they may be facing similar body issue hurdles.
Almost ten years ago, I was in the hospital for an ovarian cyst that had ruptured. While in the hospital, I overheard the conversations of the girl in the bed beside me. She had an eating disorder. I remember hearing her as she pleaded with her dad to take her home. I remember his firm yet emotional say, “We tried it your way, you’re not eating, we need to stay here for you to get better, and the doctors will take care of you.”
More recently, I heard a teenage cousin of mine state that she wanted to lose weight, even though she is already very slender. She specifically said that she wanted to lose 6 pounds. Startled by her omission, (and mentally reverting back to the girl in the hospital bed beside me), I thought, I needed to squash this thought as quickly as it came out of her mouth. Luckily, we were at a restaurant when she made this comment and another one of my cousins was eating a pound of wings. I pointed out the pound of wings and said “you want to lose 6 of those? Do you realize how sick and unhealthy you would look? It wouldn’t be attractive, you would just feel weak and miserable”. At that point she took back her statement, but I always worry that my actions weren’t enough.
Fast forward to this morning, something about the sound of the rain and the feeling of new beginnings inspired to me to want to make a difference in the community that I live in. I want to help raise awareness for eating disorder support programs in my community. I am not sure how to do it, or which charity to work with, but I know that this is an important issue to raise awareness about.
Mind Set: Motivated
Lesson Learned: We are all exposed to situations or scenarios in our lives that will impact us in some way in the future. I never fully understood why the memory of the girl with the eating disorder was so prominent in my memory. That memory combined with what I witnessed and heard at the Demi Lovato concert, will hopefully help me make a difference in my local community.