Christina Grasso | Monday, February 28, 2011
Monday evening at Saint Mary’s College, I climbed the stairs of Carroll Auditorium’s stage in teetering, leopard print wedges. With a pink golfball clutched in my hand to ease my nerves, I gritted my teeth, gave one last hair toss and praised God I did not trip. I then looked out into the audience of nearly 150 strangers and friends and took a deep breath. My hands shook and my voice crackled as I began speaking about my journey through an illness which almost claimed my life.
Speaking publically about my battle with anorexia was not something I ever intended to do. Until recently, I vowed I would always keep the matter private to avoid the eating disorder from defining my identity. The majority of society has little insight into these baffling illnesses, but one thing is clear: As we have neglected to talk openly about eating disorders, the number of sufferers has risen to an estimated 25 million in America alone. So I tossed my preference for privacy out of my third-floor window in hopes that it would be enough to help even just one person in even the smallest of ways.
I was apprehensive as to how the audience would react. But in the days following the event, I have been met with more words of gratitude and encouragement than I could have ever imagined. The response has been overwhelmingly positive and has really and truly warmed my heart. I wish I had a guestbook so I could send personal thank you notes to each and every one of you.
I am lucky, and very grateful, to have survived. My life has resumed with color, meaning and yes, food. But throughout this entire journey, I have never felt as uplifted as I do now. So to the very special people who filled the room on Monday night and/or shared words of encouragement, know your support and kindness have made a huge difference in my life. It has reaffirmed why I chose to share my story in the first place and made me feel more committed to my recovery. I hope my initiative will spark further conversation with regards to eating disorder awareness in this community in the time to come.
Thank you from every nook and cranny of my heart.
Le Mans Hall