[author title=”Ellie Parkins” author_id=”Ellie Parkins”]
How many times have you looked at your work to-do list and felt a mild panic wash over you from head to toe? Now, imagine dealing with this same stress, whilst also recovering from an eating disorder…a tough ask to say the least.
As we’ve already mentioned, the theme for this week’s National Eating Disorders Awareness Week is recovery in the workplace. Having been through an eating disorder myself, I know first hand how destructive it is, and the many ways it can manifest in professional working environments. Unfortunately, eating disorders have a fine tuned skill in interfering with every aspect of “normal life”, making even day to day tasks an almost impossible feat.
One of the most debilitating elements of an eating disorder is its ability to cut the individual off from who they are, and thereby mess with intuitive behaviours. This means that even when you have the best intentions either for yourself or other people, an eating disorder will pop up a tent in the middle of those plans and obstruct them from going any further. This can make navigating emotional boundaries really complicated.
This week, three years ago, I was still coming to terms with having an eating disorder and understanding it’s impact in my day-to-day life. I was incredibly caught up in the mess of it, and far from close to properly engaging in a recovery process. Luckily for me, I was studying and working in an informal environment that gave me space to focus on my recovery.
This does not mean, however, that I didn’t experience the mental fatigue and physical exhaustion that comes with having an eating disorder. Long working hours and pressure with deadlines made a huge impact on my ability to prioritise my health. However to counteract my circumstances, the therapy I received was tailored to ensure that when I was outside of the Clinic, I still had the tools and resources available to concentrate on what was truly important – me.
Considering only 10% of people with eating disorders receive treatment, my parents and I are eternally grateful that I was given the right treatment at the right time. It’s true that mental health has risen up the political agenda, providing somewhat of a platform to be discussed. But despite this, eating disorders are still not given the proper attention they achingly need.
I now work for The Recover Clinic as their Clinical Treatment Advisor, with the aim of helping them continue to guide patients through a recovery process that’s tailored to them from beginning to end. I’ve come back because I’ve personally felt the value in receiving treatment that addresses your specific needs – and all in a harmonious, family environment.
[blockquote cite=”Rumi” type=”center”]Let the beauty you love be what you do.[/blockquote]