It’s been said that one of the most deadly symptoms of eating disorders is silence.

In the past three years, as I have stumbled along the path of recovery, I’ve thought a lot about that silence. About what causes it, what it takes to break it and what allows us to keep speaking out.

I was silent once.

In the grips of my own disorder, I was certain that saying the words “I have an eating disorder” would be the end of the world.

I was certain that my family would disown me, my friends would abandon me, my job would fire me and my boyfriend would run as far from me as possible.

What I didn’t prepare for, when I finally whispered those words aloud, was hope.

Because what I discovered when the silence broke, is that I wasn’t alone. As I sought out treatment and began to share my struggle with a trusted circle of my loved ones, I began to realize that the voice of my eating disorder was wrong.

The world I thought would come crashing down, began to lift me up. Suddenly, I wasn’t fighting a battle on my own.

Physicians and counselors, friends and family, and the community of survivors at Project True have all shown me that recovery is possible.

Which is why during Eating Disorder Awareness week, we at Project True are wearing purple. To honour the people in our lives who create the space for us to love our bodies and ourselves, and as a message to those who are struggling in the silence; may you know you are not alone.

From February 2nd – 8th you can help us break the silence too. We’ve teamed up with the Provincial Eating Disorder Awareness (PEDAW) campaign and are sporting purple wristbands as part of their Love Our Bodies, Love Ourselves initiative. Contact pedaw@familyservicesbc to get yours.

You can also show your support through social media by visiting Facebook,com/LoveOurBodiesLoveOurselves and following @loveourbodies on Twitter.

—Project True member

Alexis McDonald

When not writing, on her yoga mat, or running along the Vancouver seawall, Alexis can be found breaking the silence surrounding disordered eating with the local non-profit organization Project True.