Today Rebecca, Bobbi and I represented Empowered Eating at a heartbreakingly sad but POWERFUL documentary
Someday Melissa is the story of a 19 year old girl who lost her life battling depression and bulimia. The movie tells Melissa's story outlining the inner demons that plagued her life until her death from a heart attack at only 19 years old. Not typically a "movie cryer" I was soaked in tears by the end of the movie. Melissa's life was cut short way too early and the movie made it pretty clear that had she not been discharged from treatment she may still be alive today. It was terribly tragic to see the pain in her family's eyes as they spoke of her loosing their only daughter. The movie really raised the question:
How do you help your family or friends suffering from eating disorders?
When Melissa was sick and suffering her family was so lost and confused about her disease. They didn't know how to help her and at times seemed feel resentful and angry at her because they couldn't always connect her behavior with her disorder. They locked food away from her and argued all the time. It made me really sad that at different points in the movie both Melissa and her older bother said they lost a sense of having a home. The movie took another twist when Melissa's mom revealed that she too had and eating disorder for 25 years. Raising the question:
What is the role of genetics in eating disorders?
"Genetics loads the gun but environment pulls the trigger"
Melissa was very creative and tragically poetic. She kept a diary of poems illustrating the pain, loss, confusion, and depression that she felt in her trapped dark disorder. Each time Melissa would get into treatment she would make great improvements, people in her treatment groups would talk about the spark and light she brought to the programs BUT each time she was discharged she would fall back into the disorder.
At the conclusion of the movie we listened to a speech by Beth Mayer, LICSW a licensed social worker and current president of MEDA, Inc. . (multi service eating disorder association) Beth is a survivor of Bulimia and gave a powerful presentation outlining the themes of the movie some of which included: Family care, genetics, and recovery. She left us with the message that recovery is possible but intervention needs to begin early. The theme I chose to leave with was hope:
"The capacity for hope is the most significant fact of life. It provides human beings with a sense of destination and the energy to get started." - Norman Cousins
"Someday I hope all girls will be able to see the beauty in life" What's your someday wish>
Melissa's mom Judy started and non-profit to raise awareness for eating disorders you can learn more about the non-profit and the film Here