Not One More | Eating Recovery Center
Alone: Not One More, Not Anymore
If I had a superpower that would let me instantly connect those battling an eating disorder with all the support to make recovery go as effectively as possible, I would do it in .00001 seconds. I am a social worker, and while we have some incredible skills, superpowers are not one of them. As much as I want an instant network of helpers, and the person battling the eating disorder may want it, this option is not yet possible. There are proven-to-help treatments and excellent providers skilled in applying them but unfortunately, there can be many obstacles that get in the way of access and the process.
For those fighting for healing, this journey can be scary, frustrating, and discouraging. If this is you – even if I’ve never met you and don’t know your name, I think about you often and I dream for better.
Sometimes, we may feel so bombarded with the stigma of “what an eating disorder looks like” that it’s difficult to acknowledge and accept that we may be struggling. Maybe we know we are struggling, but we aren’t sure we’re ready to let go of the eating disorder. Sometimes we are ready to let go, and ready for help, but we can’t find resources in our area. Maybe we have care within reach, but we lack access due to one or more different types of oppression.
I don’t say all of this to further discourage, but to validate the experiences of those who are in these situations – to talk about the reality, and to stimulate further conversations about potential paths forward. There are so many different circumstances, and each individual’s process is unique. Something that is true in most cases is that recovery requires support – we cannot do it alone. When I think about the concept of “not one more,” I think:
Not one more fighting the eating disorder alone.
Not one more fighting the eating disorder alone because of stigma.
Not one more fighting the eating disorder alone because of lack of resources.
Not one more fighting the eating disorder alone because of oppression.
Recovery takes community – in all it’s different forms. For some, this starts as support from friends or family. For others, it can start with a community of peers (like support groups). For some, this looks like a treatment team (whether outpatient, or inpatient, or something in-between). Not one more person should have to fight for healing on their own. Unfortunately, many do, everywhere and all the time. Only one in three people who have an eating disorder ever receive treatment.
If you are struggling to understand or manage your relationship with food, and are questioning if you “really” need help, or aren’t sure if help is even possible:
My hope for you is that you take the risk. Take the risk of reaching out. I know it is vulnerable. I know it is scary. I know it can feel exhausting. I know there are so many barriers. I also know that you don’t deserve to continue battling this, especially by yourself.
At Eating Recovery Center (ERC) and Pathlight Mood & Anxiety Center, we are incredibly grateful for the National Alliance for Eating Disorders, as well as many other national and regional non-profits helping to increase more resources for those seeking recovery. Support groups, education for caregivers, resource directories, insurance navigation, treatment placement, and cash assistance are some of the incredible opportunities non-profits across the U.S. offer.
ERC is proud to offer specialized eating disorder treatment designed for adults, children, and adolescents of all genders. We have 35 centers across the country, plus virtual treatment and have helped over 20,000+ patients and their families on their path to recovery. We also offer a variety of free resources available to the community, including support groups, educational events, blogs, podcast episodes, and online communities.
If you are ready to talk about treatment options, you can give us a call at 877-825-8584. If you’re not yet ready for treatment, and are looking for other resources like educational events or support groups, you can reach us by email at Resources@ERCPathlight.com.
Not one more alone.
Katie Bendel, LMSW, is an Alumni & Community Outreach Liaison for Eating Recovery Center (ERC). Katie earned her Master of Social Work degree through The University of Texas at Arlington. Prior to joining ERC, Katie applied her social work skills in a variety of settings including dual diagnosis and substance abuse treatment centers, and university/student disability services. Katie joined ERC in 2017 and has served as both an Alumni & Community Outreach Liaison and Clinical Assessment Specialist. As a social worker, she believes there is intrinsic strength and resilience in everyone. And, she believes that recovery and wellness are best developed and reinforced by community with others. For more information about Eating Recovery Center, please visit eatingrecoverycenter.com.