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If I could turn back the clock to when I was fourteen, I’m unsure if I would. I was knee-high in an addiction to exercise and an unhealthy relationship with food. It was my coping mechanism. My drug for dealing with the chaos of a dangerous and unpredictable home life around me. Trauma often brings out the worst in us—even if we’re trying our best to deal with it.
Over the last month, I’ve had half a dozen conversations with individuals who struggle with eating disorders. While many think this is a female disease, these interactions have also included males. According to John Hopkins Medicine, as many as 30 million people in the U.S. have an eating disorder. These are typically categorized into 5 main types:
1. Anorexia nervosa
2. Bulimia nervosa
3. Binge eating disorder
4. Avoidant restrictive food intake disorder
5. Other specified feeding or eating disorder
Today, I wouldn’t consider myself an expert on the topic. But as someone who’s wrestled deeply, I know the support and love I wish I had received in the thick of my struggle. The journey hasn’t been easy. Recovery is often one day at a time. Many carry it with them for the rest of their lives. Together, and with the support of our friends, family, and one mighty God, we can help those who are hurting most. How do we do this?