Woman wasting away from anorexia a ‘hero’

Dear editor,
Amber Foster's eyes spoke volumes past the noticeable distinction between her frames (Record, Dec. 2).

Dear editor,Amber Foster’s eyes spoke volumes past the noticeable distinction between her frames (Record, Dec. 2).To the left was a woman full of vigor, confidence, perhaps striding through life with the reality that she is, in fact, an incredible woman who should be respected, and admired. To the right stared back an individual clinging to life, asking for acceptance, encouragement, and help. Not to die, but to live.Her body didn’t project this conveyance; it was all in her eyes. But I wonder, how many of us readers chose to look past the stereotypical frame of anorexia, and see Amber Foster as a person? How many of us read her story and lashed out in judgment that yes, it was appropriate for St. Paul’s Hospital to discharge her under the guise that she was no longer a viable case, a woman beyond the means of help. Even to speculate that she no longer wanted help; her body projected that notion after all, so why should we believe that she wanted anything different?We peruse articles in local publications, the Globe and Mail, and CBC and learn of her young son; how could she do this to him? How could she be so selfish and not think of her family, of her child, of her life?We become enveloped in resentment, consumed by our lack of knowledge to just what an eating disorder is, to what anorexia entails, and how this illness stretches beyond the notion of just eating.I wonder how many of us readers put down these articles and were content to continue wading through our misconceptions of this illness, without wanting to offer help, or support, to Amber Foster. The repetition of her name is important you see, because she is a human, she is a person, and she should not be defined by her anorexia. She should be recognized for her bravery to share her story to the public, nay, the whole country. To be continuously advocating for more health education, welfare, and equal treatment for the older generations debilitated with this illness.In my opinion, Amber Foster is a hero to us battling our own eating disorders. She certainly is a hero to me, for I too am in recovery for an eating disorder, and have experienced the perjury which comes with being an adult in this hell.Bulimia, anorexia, self-mutilation and negative perceptions of my worth have been a chronic headache in my 27-year existence. For the past 12 years I have been in recovery for my own disorder, and have known the judgment from the medical community about the severity, and genuine want for full recuperation from this illness.It’s not a secret, or a lie, what Amber Foster has shared through her story; it’s very honest, true, and real. Perhaps it’s time we, as a community, as a whole, begin to explore the true roots of what eating disorders are and begin to encourage recovery, and self-belief, to those fighting this battle. I wish you all the best with your recovery, and advocation for this illness, Amber Foster. Thank you for sharing your story, and giving hope to all of us facing our own challenges. Meghan Clarkston,Courtenay

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