The road to recovery from an eating disorder can be long and difficult. With the love and support of others, however, recovery can be easier to reach.
In honor of Eating Disorders Awareness Week, Feb. 23 through March 1, several free informational events will be held in Petaluma. The events are co-sponsored by the Eating Disorders Recovery Services and the Petaluma Health Care District, along with several other local agencies.
?It helps the community to become aware of the problem and decrease the stigma that still lingers with eating disorders,? said Michelle Minero, founder and executive director of EDRS. ?This event provides education and healing for the community as well as training for mental health professionals.?
The kick-off event will be on Saturday, Feb. 23 at 1425 N. McDowell Blvd. in the large conference room of the lobby. James D. ?Buck? Runyan, chief operating officer for the Center for Discovery, will work with people suffering from eating disorders and their families. The event is from 10 a.m. to noon and is open to the public.
Later in the day, Runyan will be holding a training session for professionals, ?A Developmental Approach to Treating Eating Disorder and Self Injurious Behaviors,? from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Petaluma Community Center, 320 N. McDowell Blvd. Contact Joan Thompson of Eating Disorders Outreach at 778-7849 to register.
On Thursday, Feb. 28, Minero, along with Sylvia Israel, founder and director of Imagine! Center for Creativity and Healing, will use storytelling and enactment to explore the core component of empowerment for recovery.
?I developed the storytelling/ enactment modality when I was going into Casa Grande High School?s human interaction class,? said Minero. ?The students were pretty bored with my talk. Once I brought in role plays, I realized they needed to be involved physically to get the info.?
For information on the workshop, contact Minero at 762-4016 or Israel at (415) 454-7308.
A panel presentation followed by a question-and-answer period will be held on Saturday, March 1, from 10 to 11 a.m. at the Petaluma Community Center. A number of specialists, including author Pam Carlton, Michelle Minero, Ronnie Benjamin and Roberta Vink, will be there to talk to the audience and answer any questions or concerns regarding eating disorders and the recovery process.
The audience is also invited to listen to one woman?s personal account of recovery from over-eating and bulimia through her work with the 12-steps at Over Eaters Anonymous. Life coach and parent Cat Meehan will share her story of supporting her daughter?s recovery from anorexia. Darcy Meehan will also share her own story of recovery. Later in the day, Darcy and Cat Meehan will host an event from 1 to 2 p.m. called ?Soul-Collage, a process of discovery and healing.?
?SoulCollage is a magical process that?s intuitive and very personal,? said Cat. ?It?s a process of self-discovery that combines images on individual cards that represent different aspects of an individual. The images are coming from a place of inner wisdom. The process allows an individual to find balance and make peace with oneself.?
The week will culminate with a panel of recovery stories at the Ananda Institute in Santa Rosa. To reserve space, contact Audrey at 696-5065.
For more information on Eating Disorders Recovery Service, visit www.edrs.net. To learn more about SoulCollage, visit www.revisioninglife.com.