By Lori Hanson
Are you a parent of a teen or college student who is slipping into eating disorder behaviors? Perhaps you’ve had them in several forms of treatment where they do well until they come home and within months are back to their old habits. Maybe you, personally are suffering with an eating disorder and looking for some type of help…but you don’t know where to get it.
During my career as an Eating Disorder Coach I spoken with so many individuals that are looking for help because they have none close by, or don’t connect with the resources who are within reach. It’s a common issue. And unless you connect with the person who is leading the group or the therapy it won’t set you on the path to getting better.
The other issue I’ve seen over and over again, is people who reach out for help and then get scared after initial contact. One of my college clients told me walking through the door to my office the first time was the hardest thing she ever did. It’s hard to think about giving up your “wubbie” aka comfortable blanket. The fear of the unknown and what will happen if there isn’t the eating disorder behavior there to turn to is so scary that it’s often more than the individual is willing to try because of all the visions of disaster they see in their imagination.
But depending on where you or your child is on their recovery path, you can’t let denial run the show. Because without getting help and understanding how to deal with stress proactively you can die prematurely. And this too is something so many young people don’t understand about their anorexia, bulimia and binge-eating. It has a severe and devastating effect on your health. Depending on how long you follow the behaviors, you just may fall so far down the rabbit hole that your body can’t bring you back.
I started groups on Facebook back in the early days when it was still new to everyone. I had close to 3000 people in my eating disorder coaching group. I was helping people from all over the world, providing inspiration, giving them encouragement and advice that helped them. We had support calls and online chats that people joined from all over the globe. People had access to support. Twice my coaching groups were compromised by changes Facebook made that I couldn’t do anything about. It broke my heart to lose touch with these individuals and not to be able to help them any more.
Late last year, I decided I had to create another coaching group outside of Facebook so it cannot be compromised or taken away from me, because I am committed to providing help for anorexic, bulimic, overweight, teens, college students, adults and their parents. I’ve dedicated my time to sharing my story, (with all the trial and error experiences I had) so I can provide the holistic, upbeat, coaching support with people who want and need it. And… the Finding Hope Community was born.
It’s been such an incredible experience building this community. Membership is easy and accessible for anyone to join. We provide bi-monthly support calls, weekly writing contests, discussion forums, articles, interviews with practitioners and celebrities…all accesssible for members and password protected. In researching before I built my site, I found many eating disorder forums that are in full view for anyone to read the contents. That is not the experience I wanted to create for my community. This is a safe, protected, community where individuals with eating disorders of any age and any stage of recovery and their parents can have access to advice, support, encouragement and make new friendships with others on the same journey.
If you’re looking for support, you’ve just found it, join us FindingHopeCommunity.com. I look forward to meeting you there.