I am going to eventually catch up on my blogs. I took a long hiatus because I have had so much going on and writing was feeling more like a chore and less like fun. I am basically working two full-time jobs at the moment with my regular work and then my volunteer work with the Austin Foundation for Eating Disorders (AFED). I love my volunteer work and feel like even though it takes up the majority of my time, the work that I am doing is so important. I am creating resources for people that weren’t available to myself when I needed them and my outspokenness on eating disorders (and general advocacy for mental health issues) is helping fight against the stigma. I am helping others learn that it is okay to ask for help and that they are not alone.
I had the opportunity to testify at the capitol for the passing of HB3227. It was a bill that would require eating disorders to be added to Texas’ list of serious mental illnesses. If we have eating disorders on the list, it will help many more people get coverage for treatment from their insurance company. This is an issue that is dear to my heart since it was something I struggled with myself when trying to get help and it is something I hear about on a weekly basis from members of the support group I facilitate. There are so many people that want to get treatment and simply cannot afford it. Women and men are suffering for years and even passing away because of this. Did you know that eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness? Why is it that such a deadly disease is not considered by Texas to be “a serious mental illness”?
I have to tell you, I have no prior experience in politics or the process of how a bill gets passed; it was a very exciting experience. Our bill made it through the insurance committee, calendars committee, House of Representatives, and finally was killed before reaching the Senate. We think that at the very end, some insurance companies with a lot of money whispered in some ears and didn’t let our bill even get considered in the Senate. Of course, we were just told that there were too many bills and they could not move them all on to the Senate. It was an upsetting defeat, but we are just going to try again next session and find more representatives to sponsor the bill.
I visited the lovely Zilker Botanical Gardens with group members recently. It also happened to be a day when there was a special event where groups had made “fairy houses” throughout the gardens. It was fun to spot them!
I have started a new hobby recently. Cardmaking! I was frustrated by how expensive cards are these days and how I rarely find what I am really looking for. So, I have started making my own cards. They are still pretty crafty looking since I am just using whatever items I happen to have, but I think that they make receiving a card feel so much more special.