My name is Stephanie. I'm 37 years old and have been battling an eating disorder since I was 15. I'm also a recovering alcoholic; 50% of adults with eating disorders also suffer from co-occuring addictions. Approximately 1 out of every 8 Americans suffers from some form of eating disorder. Although 85 to 90 % of those are female men suffer as well. An eating disorder disease, as I believe this condition should be called, is a shameful, secretive and painful condition that is very hard to treat, in part because so many hide their symptoms in shame or in fear of being exposed. Yet so many people suffer from it.
If someone is brave enough to seek help, the cost of treatment is incomprehensible. For most the cost averages $1500.00 per day for 45 days of inpatient treatment. This is followed by on-going outpatient therapy that essential for continued recovery. I am currently in a treatment program and have been able to scrape together enough to get there but the payments for the remainder are more than my family and I can manage.
Over the past several years I have donated the proceeds from my yoga classes to organizations that help families of addicts in recovery, and have worked as a volunteer sponsor for a number of women in AA. Whenever a request for help was made my heart rejoiced to do whatever I could. It is part of what makes me who I am and that joy comes from the deepest part of my heart. It is so hard for so many of us to admit we are struggling and ask for help. I have been urged by my loved ones to ask for help from all of you. Every little bit adds up and your love and prayers are also deeply appreciated.
My goal is to overcome my eating disorder and then make it safe for people to talk about this secret disease, form a community of support and help others to get well. I am trying to raise $18,500.00. Anything above and beyond will go into a fund that my partner, Vince, and I are creating to help others with eating disorder disease to get the expert help they need as well.
Your light is your gift – Shine.
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