So yes, attending an Embody Carolina training was a no-brainer. I knew deep down I had not handled certain situations as well as I would have liked, but couldn’t tell you exactly what I needed to fix, or what even was the correct way to handle these tricky situations. And not only that, but since coming to Carolina, I had met several others who had or were struggling, as well. I knew I needed to know more.
I walked out of that training 3 ½ hours later with a completely new and better understanding of not only how to be an ally, but what being an ally means, as well as a better understanding of eating disorders as a whole. I know I will never understand exactly what my friends went through, and may continue for the rest of their lives to struggle with. In a way, however, that was the first step for me: understanding that I actually will never 100% get it all the time, and that’s okay. I can still support, love them, and help them in many ways.
This year, junior year, when a really good friend mentioned that she was going to the interest meeting for Embody, I decided to tag along. Immediately I decided that I had to get involved. Embody had shown and taught me so much and I didn’t want others to make the same mistakes that I had. I didn’t want others to accidentally push away when they meant to help and encourage.
I can also very happily say that those two people from my high school years still have a pretty special place in my life. It’s been awesome to watch them grow stronger in their lives in so many ways and be an effective ally for them along the journey. So that’s why I Embody - to teach others that they can still help and they can still love and they can still encourage even when they feel pretty helpless in how to do just that.