Recently I was invited to share more about my own journey through mentoring, from the time before I met my mentor, to when I became a mentor myself, and all the way through until now, when MentorCONNECT, the global eating disorders mentoring community I run, and Beating Ana, the book I wrote to introduce the community, are both about to turn two years old!
I thought I would share the interview with you here as well. It is so important to keep our own timelines in our heads, and as you read, for Today's Takeaway, consider your own recovery timeline and how you might answer some of these questions as they relate to mentoring, recovery, and life.
The following interview was originally posted at Nourishing the Soul blog, courtesy of Ashley Solomon, PsyD:
I’m thrilled to be able to share with all of you today my interview with Shannon Cutts, author of Beating Ana: How to Outsmart Your Eating Disorder and Take Your Life Backand creator of MENTORConnect. If you’re not familiar with Shannon, you are truly missing out! She is a renowned speaker, intuitive writer, and award-winning musician. She is also someone who has struggled herself with eating disorders and has a beautiful message of hope that she shares through various media. In Part I of our interview, Shannon talks about her own recovery journey and why recovery isn’t optional.
NTS: You are a person in recovery, a speaker, author, songwriter, and advocate. What was instrumental for you in getting to be the person who you are today?
SC: Well, the first thing I can say is that who I am today continues to be a work-in-progress. When I first started my recovery journey I had no plans to do what I do today in terms of advocacy and outreach work for eating disorders recovery. Since I became ill at age 11 and progressed all the way through recovery before I ever met another person who had struggled with an eating disorder, I had little formal information about my disease and only the support of one person – my mentor – to figure out how to do the hard work of recovery.
So I emerged from my recovery journey understanding just how vital, how critical, the presence of even one caring, supportive, encouraging person can be in the life of someone who is struggling to recover.
NTS: You say frequently that “relationships replace eating disorders.” Explain what you mean.