Enduring an eating disorder can feel tremendously isolating. Experiencing much of life in what feels like solitude; eating alone, not eating… alone, hiding, sneaking, lying, etc. Feeling like those around you have no idea, not one single clue, what you are going through from the minute you wake up to the moment you fall asleep. The truth is though, you are not alone. You are never alone! There is someone out there who gets what you’re going through, who can eloquently describe what you’ve been thinking and what you’ve been feeling without ever having been told. They know because they’ve gone through it themselves.
Those who have previously weathered the eating disorder storm, inclusive of recovery, have a particularly special way of helping those who are deep in their Eating Disorders depths. It goes without saying, no two people move through life in the exact same way: feeling, thinking, and acting in lock step. Those with eating disorders, however, do experience similarities in the way they feel, think, and act. Harnessing the power of these uniquely shared emotions, thoughts, and actions can be incredibly powerful. Harnessing the empathy, compassion, and understanding that can come from someone who has been through it all before is incredible. It can be the inspiration someone might need to simply keep going.
We are working on a new feature called “Our ED Advocate” where we feature and focus on a particular individual who has been through the worst of it and come out the other side, better, stronger, brighter. We’ll feature their story, quotes, publications, and insights they have made. And we are resharing in case you ever need a gentle reminder that you are not alone! This month we are featuring Evanna Lynch. Some of you may know her as Luna Lovegood, but we have come to know her as much, much more.
Evanna Lynch is an Irish actress best known for her portrayal of Luna Lovegood in Harry Potter. What the world might now know however, is Evanna struggled with anorexia for the better part of her adolescence spending time in hospitals and treatment facilities. In 2021, Evanna released a memoir entitled “The Opposite of Butterfly Hunting: The Tragedy and Glory of Growing Up – A Memoir.” Currently, Evanna resides in London, England.
Words Worth Remembering:
“The future doesn’t matter to someone enduring an unimaginable pain, so let’s not entertain that childish fantasy. All that matters is the pain that is consuming you in this moment, that you grit your teeth and try to survive it. You invalidate the pain and the damage it inflicts when you hasten to skip past it to a brighter tomorrow. Sometimes things are just unremittingly shit and the only respectful thing to do is to stand next to the person going through it and scream along with them”
“Negativity always leads you to a dead end; you can crawl into the darkest, dankest corner, and though it is lonely and miserable, you know where the wall is, your back firmly pressed against it, and there is something wonderfully safe about that. When you choose positivity, on the other hand, you choose limitless potential, and whatever you look at with positivity grows and spreads and unfurls in a thousand different directions.”
“But you have to put yourself out there for these things; you have to be foolish and idealistic and take risks. You have to try.”
“And I decide, now, in this moment, that I want it; I want this body. I want to inhabit her, enjoy her, care for her, and defend her in this world. And I no longer want to be yet another voice telling her she’s disgusting or embarrassing or inadequate or too much. I want to be one of those arresting voices of love and compassion, to offer her a space where she can go to restore, to feel safe, to grow.”
“And maybe I will live a happier, wilder, more colourful and unpredictable life if I can finally abandon the debilitating and brutal pursuit of perfection. If I can learn to love butterflies from afar, and watch them fly away.”
“We’re damn lucky to have our bodies, these strange, multi-functional machines, that let us leave our legacy on the planet.”
“It’s true that the mind is where all ideas are born, but the body is the tool that translates and expresses those ideas to the wider world. It is nothing but a vehicle for our greater creative purpose but if we don’t give it fuel and keep it in good working order it instead becomes another obstacle to transcend, a physical one, as well as the many million fictitious mental ones that society presents.”