I signed up for the Spring Lobby Day, having no idea what I was doing. I traveled to Washington, DC, having no idea what I was doing. I went to the initial lobby training and wrote down my personal story of my eating disorder, and I had no idea what I was doing. The only thing I did know was why I was advocating: to speak for those who were unable to speak, because they were in the midst of their eating disorders.
Just moving across the country from Minnesota to Delaware, I was scared to be on my own in recovery from an eating disorder. I found the Eating Disorders Coalition (EDC) on a fluke, but it changed my life. The EDC, based out of Washington, D.C., advances the recognition of eating disorders as a public health priority throughout the United States. They educate and work with Congress to influence federal policy related to eating disorders.
Taking part in the EDC Lobby Day, meeting with congress members and their staff, and sharing my personal eating disorder story meant that I could use my struggle as a tool to speak for those that did not yet have a voice. All the pain and suffering I experienced in the trenches of my eating disorder was now being used to help prevent and treat eating disorders in others.