Date: Thursday, February 24, 2011
Time: 6:15 – 7:30 p.m.
Location: Ridgeview Institute, Day Hospital Auditorium
Cost: Free. Candles will be provided.
No pre-registration required.
More Info: The Candlelight Vigil was originally developed by ANAD (Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders)as a nationwide grassroots event dedicated to eating disorder
awareness and prevention. Women’s Services Alumni Association is pleased to sponsor this vigil as an opportunity to promote healthy body image, good health and positive self esteem. Please join us for live music, speakers and a candle lighting ceremony to remember those past and present who have struggled with eating disorders.
The ceremony will replace the regular Thursday evening Multi-family Education Group
National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, February 20-26, 2011, is sponsored by the National Eating Disorders Association.
My Thoughts: Please come! I went last year and I was deeply affected by the program. In fact, I cried almost the whole time. It's not that I want you to cry, but for me, it's a very emotional and inspirational service. There is poetry and music and stories of hardship and recovery as told by survivors of eating disorders and their loved ones. I really think that more people should come, as we are all affected by eating disorders-just look at the media. And for someone that may think they're not affected, it's an eye-opening experience to hear what going through an eating disorder is really like. At the end of the program is a candlelight vigil to honor all those that still suffer with an eating disorder and all those that have died due to one. Remember, eating disorders are the mental disorders with the highest fatality rate! Despite this, there is very little help for those with eating disorders and it is incredibly hard to get insurance companies to comply with providing the neccessary long-term treatment that is required for most cases. Our society glorifies the models who display their eating disorders for the world to see, but then throws them away when they seek help. We make shows about people with binge-eating disorder as if they are a freak show. We must stop this! The plight of those with eating disorders is a feminist issue and I do not understand why it is not promoted as such. I often feel despair at all there is to change in our society, but I think programs like this are a powerful first step, for in order to change the system, we need to listen and honor those who are most damaged by it. Also, like I have said before, speaking out about one's experiences with a mental illness or disorder is empowering. Wouldn't it be nice if we as a society tried to empower and listen to all people, instead of discounting what seems different or weird?
Sounds like a great event! I wrote a post about Eating Disorders Awareness Week on my blog too. There is a project that the National Organization for Women (NOW) is doing called "Let's Talk About It" where women with eating disorders are posting videos telling their stories on a website, and if you have a body image problem or an eating disorder, you can upload a video to that page. I think it's a great idea.
I wish there was an event where I live in Florida like the one you described where you live, but I don't know of one. I do celebrate Love Your Body Day with NOW by showing a video at that time of year whenever possible.
As a person who lived through an eating disorder, I can say that there is a lot society does not understand about these hellish nightmares, which needs to be brought to light, and the ridiculous standards of so-called beauty in magazines, television, and video need to end, because they cause women to needlessly hate ourselves.
Thank you for this post!