Light from a bonfire broke through the dark of night. Thunder loomed in the distance as a young man approached a microphone standing in an open Texas field where hundreds of people gathered. He warned us that fire ants had been spotted and that we should watch out for these aggressive,Texas-sized creatures.
The threat of rain and bug bites didn’t bother us. We were there celebrating recovery, to hear stories of triumph over addiction—and nothing was going to stop us. One by one, brave souls from all over the world walked to the microphone and shared inspirational words. Echoed in the night were words like: gratitude, faith, serenity, happiness, higher power, and God.
The connection between the people on the field—both those recovered from substance use disorders and those still struggling—took my breath away. And, I was taken aback by the way that I was drawn into the group. Even though my “drug of choice” was food and I had never struggled with an addiction, they fully accepted me as a member of the family.
Recovered from anorexia nervosa, I left that event with hope that one day, people touched by eating disorders might experience this same sense of worldwide—yet intimate—community.
A decade later, in my second recovery—from posttraumatic stress disorder, PTSD—
I have this same hope for those who have endured trauma.
To read the full post on worldeatingdisordersday.org, click here.