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The Perfect Storm

September 25, 2009

Wowza! – what wild week this has been!

September has been somewhat of a “perfect storm” in regards to my acknowledgment and proactive approach to Ed.

A little over a month ago I was reading an article in the San Jose Mercury News

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about Shelia Himmel, a local food critic turned author whose daughter Lisa ironically suffered for years with anorexia/bulimia. Together they had composed a unique memior titled “Hungry”

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… which chronicles Lisa (as well as her families) fight with her disorder and it was set to release late summer. On the first available date a trekked to my local bookstore and picked up my very own copy.

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As I read and re-read each word and chapter I couldn’t help but feel as though I had penned the memoir myself. Each detail of the Himmel’s story mirrored my very own.

Passing up dinner invitations to escape the agony of eating around others.

The voices, the anger, the exhaustion.

I placed broken heart shaped post-it’s on dozens of pages as cute reminders of our life similarities.

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AND THEN … I happened upon this little excerpt …

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The National Eating Disorder Resource Center in San Jose … it sounded eerily familiar. And it hit me! The EDRC is located in my office building!

What are the odds!

I spent the next week or so analyzing each word in Hungry. Comparing my symptoms to those listed in the book, convincing myself that the fact that I matched each and every symptom was simply a coincidence. Then one especially stressful afternoon in the office I decided to take a breather walk around the building and found myself sitting in the conference room of the EDRC with the Executive Director, Janice Bremis.

I explained to Janice how my sitting in her office came to fruition (the mention in Hungry) and she handed me a flyer for an upcoming reading with Sheila and Lisa 5 minutes away!

I knew I had to attend.

So on Monday evening I packed up my things, slid out of work a few minutes early, and headed to the Cambrian Library to meet the two women who I already considered comrades.

It. was. life. changing.

I won’t go in to details but those two women are inspiring. I was also lucky enough to meet a wonderful doctor who offered me invaluable advice in regards to my lack of health insurance. She even provided me with her cell phone number and has called to follow up with me twice!

A few days later as I sat stuck in a meeting I hear the front office door open and see Janice peeking in. Turns out, the doctor I had met had called Janice and voiced her concerns. Before I left the office on Tuesday I made a pit stop upstairs. Janice and I talked about her struggles, her onset osteoperosis, my exhaustion, etc.

Talking to someone who lives my life is the most comforting feeling in the World.

As I got up to leave Janice reached for my frail wrist, sat me down and handed me two more very special things:

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… they have already begun to train my fighting spirit … only time will tell

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