“Hi I’m Jamie and I’m from Orlando Florida. Growing up, I always felt different. The way I thought and the way I felt wasn’t normal, but I never knew exactly what it was so I went about life thinking everyone was the same way. I can trace my very first anxiety attack all the way back to when I was three years-old. Of course, we wouldn’t have called it that then – just a kid having a meltdown, right? Well that moment was the beginning of what would be the rest of my life battling anxiety. By the age of eight, I began to take notice of my body in comparison to other girls. I was humiliated in my ballet class by my teacher for having my belly out. I was told (in front of everyone) that it looked as though I had swallowed a basketball for lunch. By age eleven, my big challenge to take on in life was middle school – my worst nightmare. I was a socially awkward, shy, and sensitive kid – middle school ate me alive. As fate would have it, this stage of life is where my eating disorder began to take its form and depression wasn’t too far behind it. I hated myself and I hated my body. I remember the moment I decided I would start skipping meals. I was sitting in front of a mirror studying my body and as I saw the purple stripes begin to form on my inner thighs, I needed a plan of action – and fast. Restriction was my method of controlling my weight up until the 10th grade when I discovered bingeing and purging. The self-hatred I felt for my body only increased as I allowed others to disrespect it. Girls belittled me, boys abused me, and I abused myself. This white necklace, I wear to represent my invisible illnesses. Anxiety, depression, and OCD. The periwinkle necklace, I wear to represent my eating disorder. These necklaces represent hope that these invisible illnesses will be brought to light and that individuals will come forward and share their story. I’m grateful for the opportunity @awarecauses has given me and many others to be able to share our stories.” @speak_up_speak_now
"Hi! My name is Haley, and I am 21 years old & living in Cleveland, OH with my boyfriend and dog. I’m also the face of someone who’s struggled with an eating disorder. In high school, I became insecure about my body (especially my belly) and joined the YouTube and Instagram fitness craze to try and lose some weight. Needless to say, I spiraled out of control. Years later, I discovered recovery....& I’m so fortunate that I did! Having an IBS diagnosis has complicated my recovery but hasn’t slowed my roll. It’s taught me to balance taking care of my body with enjoying fear foods again. Now, I blog about both my illnesses at lovelyandlazy.blog and have built an IG community at @lovelyandlazy. I am HAES, fat-positive and all are welcome on my account! Besides my blog and Insta, though, my AWARE necklace is my favorite way to spark conversation about eating disorders and the importance of preventing and treating them. Thank you to AWARE for giving me a platform to share my story!" @lovelyandlazy
"Hey, my name's Tori, I've had bulimia and anorexia for over 14 years now. I'd purge all day every other hour or two of the day, and when I wasn't, I just wouldn't eat or drink. Kids were mean in school. I was told "I bet you can't lose 10lbs bc you're fat." So I stopped eating. Something just clicked in my mind and I stopped. By the time I was 17/18 I was under 79lbs at 5'5". My mom and dad tried to get me into impatient treatment centers, but I'd never go. I'd convince them I'd eat. That's how horrible having one is. I have had to go to the ER multiple times for potassium iv, because it was so critically low. I'm still trying to recover, but I know I can't do it on my own. Facts I've experienced through out my disorder; I lost all my top teeth. You'll end up with dentures. You could develop seizures and tachycardia, like I did. Your hair WILL fall out. I always thought it was a myth, but my hair is so thin and it just makes one even more depressed and frustrated because they just want the obsessive food thoughts to go away. You could die from a heart attack, it will just give out. I almost died from how low my potassium had been. Food scares me but I know I need it to live and to live for my daughter. Also you'll bruise very easily, especially when on keppra for seizures. It's a side effect. I just hope my story or journey in the making, to change for the better could inspire just one person. Also men speak up too! We need to spread eating disorder awareness for men as well. Oh also, I've noticed my memory has been becoming worse with time. It's hard to remember what I wanted to do a minute ago. If anyone ever wants to dm me to vent, I'll listen." @Nomsmom_
"Hi, I’m Chloe and I’m from Brisbane, Australia. I’ve struggled with body dysmorphia and eating disorders for most of my life. At times I’ve felt very alone in my struggles and was afraid to ever speak about them. I hope that raising awareness of these disorders can help others with EDs to get support and to also feel encouraged while doing so. This necklace reminds me of my strength and what I’ve overcome so far. The journey is never over but being reminded of what I’ve been through keeps me fighting. I truly love my A.W.A.R.E. necklaces."