Dr. Susie Mendelsohn’s NEDAW Speech

September 7, 2013

Thich Nhat Hanh (Tik · N'yat · Hawn), the Vietnamese Buddhist teacher, says, “There is no way to happiness -happiness is the way.Just so, there is no way back to the body; the body is the way. You leave and then you return. Leave and return. You forgetand then you remember. Forget. Remember. One breath and then another. One step and then another. And it doesn’t matter how long you’ve been gone; what matters is that you’ve returned. With each return, each sound, each felt sensation, there is relaxation, recognition, and gratitude. Gratitude begets itself, ripens into flowers, snow falls, mountains of more gratitude. Soon you begin wondering where you’ve been all this time. How you wandered so far. And you realize that torture isn’t having this body; it’s being so convinced that your Higher Power is out there, in another place, another realm that you miss the lavender slip of moon, your own awakened presence.”

It helps to remind yourself -You’re not alone on this bumpy, curvy, chaotic ride called life. You’re not being singled out by the fates to suffer, to feel pain, to be disappointed. Everyone on this planet experiences major disappointments and pains. It’s the way we choose to cope that determines our altitude in life.

This is a world of duality: the good and bad; yin and yang, decaffeinated and caffeinated. Just as an ED-free life can be liberating, the journey will have it’s ups and downs. Never allow those obstacles to stand in YOUR way toward wellness!

Never Give up. Recovery is now. Live in the present moment. Live for today -The world continues to revolve whether you choose to be a part of it or you choose to retreat. Moving THROUGH recovery is the only way to achieve your optimal life. Attempting to skip over it, ignore, avoid, numb or run away from the matters that lurk under the surface will only provide the same results. As they say, “Nothing changes if nothing changes.” Perseverance is the key to fulfilling everything you set out to achieve. NEVER GIVE UP, even when you feel you’re on aplateau. Treatment isn’t easy, but the rewards of recovery are invaluable!

You are courageous enough to destroy the chaos ED brings to your lives and the lives of your loved ones. You CAN find peace -by focusing internally rather than externally. Falling prey to others’ expectations will lure ED back into your world -making you susceptible at every turn. Work with your treatment team to develop YOUR identity without ED -and you, too will be liberated. “It doesn’t matter how fast you get there if you’re headed in the right direction.”

Imagine the potentials you have. Imagine the world outside just waiting for you to engage! Imagine a LIFE WITHOUT ED! As Walt Disney once said, “If you can dream it you can do it.”

Once you open your eyes from your mediation, that’s when you realize thatthe chain around your leg is attached to a tiny little twig; you are really an eagle who longs to soar in the sky and all you have to do is flap.

Eating disorders are NOT choices. They are bio-psycho-social illnesses which can be life-threatening. Utilize a multifaceted treatment team including an eating disorder specialist psychologist, dietitian and physician. Early intervention is the best -but there’s always hope no matter how long you’ve been struggling. Hope is just around the corner. It’s up to you to grab it! Allow your treatment team to help you TRANSFORM your life into how YOU envision it should be. Let them EMPOWER you with the tools you need to SOAR to your greatest potentials!

Please talk to your loved ones, friends, relatives and start educating them today. Secrets keep us sick -maintaining ED’s control -so it’s time to ask for guidance...to admit you have an illness and to be accountable to those you love. It is important for your loved ones to recognize the pain and challenges you are enduring and to know that you’re never alone in your struggles.

For the loved ones -please understand that this, too, is your concern and battle to fight. Your unending love and proper support makes all the difference in the world for a healthy, full recovery. The treatment team will guide you and your loved ones with the most effective tools necessary to support you in your journey toward recovery.

It’s time to celebrate a non-judgement day today; a non-judgement day tomorrow; a non-judgement year and a non-judgement LIFE always! When you look at life and people through the eyes of non-judgement, you attain a special x-ray vision that allows you to see past the bad -and straight though to the good!


“You are NOT your bra-size, nor are you the width of your waist, nor are you the slenderness of your calves. You are not your hair color, your skin color, nor are you a shade of nail polish or lipstick. Your shoe-size is of no consequence. You are not defined by the amount of attention you get from others. You are not the number of miles you can run or stairs you can climb. Nor are you the number of calories you consume and burn in a day. You are not the hair on your legs or the size of your muscles. You are not a little red dress nor the compliments you receive. You are not your worth in weight, nor the numbers on that piece of plastic and metal. You are beautiful in all of your uniqueness.

You are the content of your character. You are the ambitions that drive you. You are the goals that you set. You are the laughter in the words that you say. You are the thoughts you think and the things you wonder. You are beautiful and desirable not for the people you are associated with, but for the spark of life within you that compels you to make your time on this planet a meaningful one. You are beautiful not for the shape of your vessel, but for the volume of the soul it carries.”

Life: BE IN IT!