"As I have worked through recovery, the key to using my feelings as a tool has been to respond to them with curiosity instead of shame. When a situation prompts a strong emotional reaction, the first thing I do is acknowledge that I am having an emotional experience and that this is okay."
"YOU get to decide who you are and what is important to you, and I encourage you to look for ways to build traditions that feel significant for you. Maybe you need to go to the social gatherings or holiday parties that are challenging because they are important to your loved ones, but maybe you can also celebrate this time of year in a way that brings you joy and honours what you truly need."
"Navigating triggers such as diet talk, social events or social isolation, and having to engage with different situations around food, can bring up a lot of difficult feelings. However, the holiday season can also bring with it the opportunity to challenge ourselves, create new memories, and engage with new experiences. Doing so is certainly not always easy, but there are ways in which we can protect our recovery when we find ourselves caught up in moments that put us to the test."
The Looking Glass Foundation is pleased to receive a $20,000 Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund grant to support enhancement programs at the Looking Glass Residence, a 14-bed facility where youth aged 16 to 24 receive care from medical and mental health professionals.
The Looking Glass Foundation aligns with the recommendations put forward by the Canadian Eating Disorder Alliance and we are pleased to see the strategy receiving media coverage, which helps to increase awareness about eating disorders and the gaps in treatment that are evident across Canada.
"Recovery then, asks us to imagine ourselves outside of our struggles and to begin building an identity that is broader than our eating disorder. It is an enormous, but critical task in recovery and life in general. None of us are single stories or solely defined by one aspect of our being. It does not matter how small your life may feel at the moment, each one of us is still far more than a single, or simple, story."
"The welcoming and kind energy the Looking Glass fosters as an organization is the type of essence I hope to bring as a future counsellor. The team at the Foundation is warm and passionate, and I believe this is how they genuinely help those in the eating disorder community to recover."
"This poem encapsulates the Hand in Hand relationship, based on my experience. It is a partnership, collaborative relationship. In the pairing, I am the sounding board, confidant, and mirror for my matches. I infuse optimism and curiosity. I accept them for exactly who they are, as they show up. I strive to help them rediscover their truth, so that they can live an authentic life and connect deeper to their values. I encourage my matches to embody their freedom and feel that recovery is possible."
We sat down with a long-time Looking Glass volunteer, Sherene Balanji, who will be graduating next year from Simon Fraser University with an Honours degree in Psychology. She is currently working on completing her Honours Thesis exploring the relationship between social media behaviours and disordered eating in undergraduate students. She has been volunteering with Looking Glass in the Hand in Hand program for 3 years, and as a Forum Support volunteer since 2018. Today, she reflects back on the experience of receiving a 2017 Scholarship award from the Looking Glass Foundation.
"I am in recovery because that is what I know I need to do, not only for myself but also for that little boy, and for others suffering from eating disorders, especially those in the trans community. Each and every one of us deserves to know that there's more out there than our disorder, that we’re worth so much more than we believe and that we will grow to learn and love and accept ourselves for who we are."