"Hello! My name is Sydney and I couldn’t be more excited to join the Looking Glass Community as the new Volunteer & Program Coordinator. I first learned about the Looking Glass Foundation when I was designing a hypothetical eating disorder treatment program for my undergraduate thesis, and three years later, after completing a Masters of Science in Eating Disorders and Clinical Nutrition, here I am!"
"The difficulty was that, once the glory period of initial strength and motivation passed, I was left in what felt like purgatory between suffering and recovering. The darkness begins to welcome you and it feels comfortable and familiar. Don't let the familiarity persuade you to believe that this is where you're supposed to be, that this is the destination, because when you get to recovery, you realize just how close you were after all."
"Connect with others. I did and it saved my life. My friend and I are in recovery together. We provide support and strength for each other."
"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."
In this blog post, Kat shares her reflections on leaving this role and the importance of being honest with yourself about what you need and want out of your life, and finding joy and peace in the simple things.
"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."
"This note is one of many written during moments of challenge in my own recovery process as a reminder to myself. I am sharing it with you here and now with the hope that it reminds you of your own you: the part of you that is not your eating disorder, that part of you that is always there, that is always with you, and always fighting for you – even when it may not feel this way."