Saturday, March 3, 2012

Rachel Hunter, Co-Author of "Mark Miller's One- Volume 7- Perfect Nothing", Guest Post "Mind or Fate"

Perfect Nothing: Mind or Fate?
By Rachel Hunter

As you may or may not know, my piece for Mark Miller’s One anthology, titled Perfect Nothing, was published via Trestle Press on Amazon yesterday, marking the first day of March (and a lovely spring like day, I might add). Although, Perfect Nothing is anything but spritely, it is instead an utterly deep and personal account of my past relationship with an eating disorder, specifically, Anorexia Nervosa. Indeed, it is the first time I have been open about the disease - for mental affliction it truly is - and I wrote it not without some trepidation, intending to rend the past from its sick and twisted façade in order to spark within others the common urge for internal resistance… and emotional release. Yes, Perfect Nothing is a tribute to the harrowing darkness I discovered within me - a part of the disorder - a darkness that distorts reality and sets upon the victim a set of standards: a sort of… perfection. Though perfection it is anything but. It is instead the voice of weakness – when the discomforts of the world cannot be tolerated and one’s own body becomes the scapegoat for abuse. Anorexia. It is… insidious. An internal plague. And, though it no longer claims me as its own, I am still bound by its shadow – ever aware of its existence, though it rules me not. Always will the eating disorder be a part of me – nigh a distant breath – but it is as a tug of thread rather than a link of chains.
But why now? Why, after three years since my final relapse, have I chosen to finally make amends – to myself and to the world? Ah, my friend; the answer is not so simple. But, through my experience and near defeat at the hands of Anorexia, I have come to possess a will to heal - a desire to connect with readers and express what they may feel but are unable – or unwilling – to convey. For there is much left unsaid while in the midst of Anorexia’s clutches. I know. I have been there. And I seek to dispel the shadows. Not only by pursuing a degree in medicine, but by dancing with words – by relaying through whispered breath the inner truth of my corroding conflictions: the psychological fog and buzzing madness that claimed me for a time. For the outward manifestation of Anorexia is readily apparent – aye. But few dare tread upon the uneven terrain that lurks beyond – unseen. This is what I wish to convey. This is what I intend to reveal to the world. And with my words, I hope to instill in all that while nothing about us is perfect, we – oh yes, we, as wielders of the most powerful force in existence: the mind – are capable of finding comfort in ourselves and in the majesty that makes us who we are – that binds us. This, my friends... this is perfection.

Perfect Nothing has also been released in tribute to the 25th Annual NEDA (National Eating Disorder Awareness) Week, which began February 26th and lasts until March 3rd . NEDA is an organization that offers care and support to those affected by eating disorders – whether directly or indirectly. But it is important to note that the entire family unit harbors the stress brought along by such an illness, and it is no less difficult for parents, friends, brothers, or sisters, than it is for the individual with the eating disorder. NEDA stresses that “Everybody Knows Somebody,” meaning that eating disorders are vast and affect thousands of lives, and by taking a moment to spread awareness, one may spark the defining touch upon another: the desire to heal – the mark of renewal. Click here to learn how YOU can get involved: whether through volunteering, donating, or simply spreading a kind word. Also, click here to learn more about the various research studies that NEDA supports, from biological factors, psychological stress, to mortality rates.

Before I take my leave, I would also like to share a few telling statistics in regard to the profound impact of eating disorders. I’ve listed a few bullet points below, but you can find a more in-depth portrayal at the following website: Eating Disorder Recovery Centers (the source of the provided statistics).
• 5-10% of anorexics die within 10 years after contracting the disease and 18-20% of anorexics will be dead after 20 years.
• Anorexia Nervosa has the highest death rate of any psychiatric illness (including Major Depression).

• The mortality rate associated with Anorexia Nervosa is 12 times higher than the death rate of ALL causes of death for females 15-24 years old.

Perfect Nothing: Share my experience Anorexia
NEDA Store: Shop for the Cause
NEDA Programs and Events: Get Involved!
Rachel Hunter: Blog

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