I've never blogged before. The first thing I do when I'm asked to write something is to research, so I looked at others' blogs to get information and ideas. The second thing I do when preparing to write is to become overwhelmed by everyone else's work – "Wow, that's great information/insight – how can I add to that? I'm not so prolific. I can't do it right". But then a little voice, that has grown louder along my journey to recovery, says, "There's no right and wrong," everyone has his/her own experience and way of sharing it. We learn and grow by taking risks.
“Faith is closing your eyes, stepping off a ledge into darkness and trusting that either someone will be there to catch you, or you’ll learn to fly.”
The above quote, spoken from a man in end of life care due to a battle with AIDS was relayed to me at a conference in 2010 by Cindy Blackstock, a tireless advocate for First Nations human rights in Canada. So, what’s that got to do with body image, eating disorders and mental health more broadly? For me the answer seems obvious – mental health is all about hope.
When I was a little girl, my Christmas wish list did not consist of the stereotypical trappings of the young female mind. There was no Barbie Dream House, no little ponies (real or otherwise). Instead I craved luxury: a fur coat, a leather skirt, caramel suede Frye boots, identical to my oh-so-stylish mother’s – all symbols of womanhood in my young mind.