This blog series is an accompaniment to the performance of #No.Filter: an exercise in vulnerability for clarinet, electronics, and film which will premier original works at Resonance Cafe, March 25 at 9pm.
I've been falling behind on these blog posts. It's hard to keep up with the writing. Perhaps the next time i decide to divulge the personal story behind the project I will choose a less time consuming medium.
I think this post is fitting in its timing although if I am being totally honest it is entirely coincidental I wish I could take credit for the serendipitousness of it all but alas, my impulsivity doesn't allow for that.
So what we have gone over so far if you need a recap or haven't read the previous posts on my gut spilling is this...
So this all boils down to the story behind the pieces I am writing and the films I am creating. There is more to all of the blogs than I have let on. They skim the surface of things that I can't quite articulate just yet. They haven't dug deep. I haven't dug deep,but I have gone deeper than I have in a while.
I am stalling... so here we go! My quirks and idiosyncrasies took on a life of their own about 15 years ago.
This past week was National Eating Disorders Awareness week (otherwise known as NEDA week). NEDA week doesn't get nearly as much attention as say... National Sibling Day, or National Cold Pizza Day. If you've put it together already, you have come to the conclusion that #No.Filter is in fact about eating disorders, in particular, my eating disorder.
Not many people know that I have dealt with these issues for almost 15 years and while I am fine now, (I AM FINE MOM. FOR REAL!) there was about 10 years of my life where I was very much NOT FINE. My close friends from back home in New York know about it. I think I have one or two people here in Montreal I have spoken to about it but otherwise this story, this part of my life was mine and mine alone for a long time.
A big part of the issue that I have when people discuss their eating disorders or the way it is portrayed in the media is that it is always sensational. There are photographs of skeletal women with bulging eyes posing and stretching their already thing bodies even thinner, limbs akimbo. There are numbers. How few calories did she eat? How many times a day did she barf? How many shrinks did she see? How many years has this been going on? AND THE BIG ONE! H.O.W. M.U.C.H. D.O.E.S. S.H.E. W.E.I.G.H. lsdfhbsdkjfbsadijfbsdibsdfih
#No.Filter is my attempt to tell my story through written word, through music, and through film in a way that does not sensationalize or glorify my disordered eating behavior. No emphasis on the body, no emphasis on numbers, no emphasis of specific behaviors. I think the only people my crazy stories help are those currently struggling and too often attempts to share can become educational tips and tricks for those struggling with disordered eating who have not yet developed a full blown eating disorder. I want to handle things different.
I want to handle things different even though my story is not different. I am the stereotype. White, middle class, female, overachiever, perfectionistic. I developed severely disordered eating behaviors while I was a teenager which I now know is EDNOS (Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified) which is when your behaviors do not fall strictly into the categories of Anorexia Nervosa or Bulimia Nervosa (which have strict diagnostic criteria). In college, my first time living away from home, EDNOS burst forth into unadulterated anorexia accompanied by purging. This lasted for a while and then came Bulimia Nervosa. Anorexia, the anorexia binge purge subtype, and bulimia plagued my life for over a decade.
And today I am on the other side. Moderately unscathed. Extraordinarily fortunate.
This is not a redemption piece nor will it be about me extolling the virtues of recovery or the secret to my own recovery or the joys of being healed or whatever other positive self help guru psychobabble people like to spew in these situations.
My story is what it is. I am not special. According to ANAD at least 30 million people of all ages and genders suffer from an eating disorder in the U.S. Every 62 minutes at least one person dies as a direct result from an eating disorder. Eating disorders affect all races and ethnic groups.
Eating disorders are also incredibly difficult to treat and research into eating disorders is devastatingly underfunded despite the fact that eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness.
This is one story out of 30 million.
If you need help or someone to talk to here are some phone numbers below. I will continue to post additional resources in the posts to follow.
Canada: 1-866-NEDIC-20 (NEDIC)
US: (800) 931-2237 (NEDA)