Tuesday, February 26, 2008

A reason for the season - NEDAW 2008

It's NEDAW - National Eating Disorders Awareness Week. On a whim last week, I signed up to be a NEDAW coordinator. I thought I'd start small - organize a jeans giveaway at my dance center around mid-March to support a local women's shelter in the area. Nothing big, but something. Every little bit helps, right?

Well, in between my busy-at-work days and too-exhausted-to-think-straight nights, I started composing an email to the dance center owner to ask for her buy-in/support/etc.

In the meantime, I received an email from a mom whose daughter suffers from bulimia. She was looking for support groups in our area for parents with children who are suffering.

What's interesting is that she assumed that I was like her - with a child who suffers from an ED.

So I replied that while I am a mom, I am the one who suffers (and have since college,) but that I'd be willing to start a support group. Organize it, facilitate the first couple meetings to help those interested figure out the best way to proceed, and then back out (if they want me to.)

I thought about my reply... Do I really want to get this involved? Can I really be so full of myself that I might think that I could start and potentially lead a support group? I mean, I still haven't completely pulled myself out of this most recent slip after all.

But then I thought, who better to start and potentially lead a support group for parents? As a sufferer, I may be able to offer perspective of what their children might be experiencing. As a mom who is trying very hard not to pass on my ED to my son, perhaps I can jump in with ideas if none of the other parents have ideas.

Everything happens for a reason, right? Maybe this was the reason I signed up to be a NEDAW coordinator this year?

So, I'd love to hear advice as I start on this new venture... Has anyone out there started a support group (of any kind) before?


Charlynn said...

I haven't started a support group, but I admire you for taking action. What a wonderful thing to do!

Faith said...

Good for you Jeanne!!!!! I'm so proud of you!

I've run a support group before (a long time ago) and I found that making sure that no one dominates the group is super important. That person may not love you but the rest of the group will (and there's always one)...

I bet there are some books or sites out there that give some good advice.

Go Jeanne!

Eve said...

Hi Jeanne,

I can't offer you any practical advice about starting a support group, but I can give you lots and lots of support for deciding to do it! I think it is an awesome idea! Go Jeanne, indeed!!!

Love, Eve