'Education is for improving the lives of others and for leaving your community and world better than you found it.' - Marian Wright Edelman
In May 2022 I will leave San Francisco on the west coast of America and travel 6,000 kilometres by bike until I reach New York City. This is all in aid of Bodywhys, the national eating disorders association of Ireland.
But this project isn't all about the bike or raising money, it's about Education. That's the goal. To start a conversation, to share a story, to provide information; in the hope that it will raise awareness of eating disorders and that we can all learn from it.
My eating disorder was something I hid for years. Mainly because I didn't know I had one. I knew something was wrong but I didn't know what was wrong. I was a male in my twenties, there's no way I could have an eating disorder? Men don't get eating disorders?
My ignorance, the lack of information out there and the isolation were the primary cause of so much of my pain and distress. I felt so alone and I eventually started to spiral. That was until I got the help I needed.
Although I'm still very much in recovery, I'm well again and thankfully most days are good, full of adequate nutrition and free of distress. However, my recovery journey has highlighted to me the need for education.
Education for those suffering. To know that we aren't alone. That what we're experiencing is common. That we're not going crazy.
Education for loved ones, To know how to help or what to say. To know how best to support us.
Education for society. To know that many of the eating disorder stereotypes are false and that they can affect anyone of any gender, age or background.
I've experienced the inner turmoil and self hated eating disorders can inflict on those suffering. I want to do the best I can to help people who may be experiencing the same torment, while also helping everyone else understand that little bit more.
I would be beyond grateful if you can help the amazing organisation that is Bodywhys by donating whatever you can or simply sharing the challenge I'm undertaking. Alternatively if you know of anyone or any company who may be able to help please don't hesitate to contact me.
''The things you do for yourself are gone when you are gone, but the things you do for others remain as your legacy.''
Thanks as always,