My name is Amber Valentine. You may know me as Mr. Manager from Team Match by Match. You may know me from touring with The Appleseed Collective. Or maybe you know me from my many years in music journalism. What you probably didn’t know me as, until now, is anorexic.
I am 28 years old and for the past 15 years, I’ve been living with both anorexia and bulimia. For a long time, I pretended that everything was okay because I had stopped purging. This summer, however, I had a psychotic break. I tried to kill myself and when the attempt was unsuccessful, I realized that I’m not fine. I haven’t been fine for a long time and if I don’t do something now, I will never be fine.
I’ve made multiple unsuccessful attempts at recovery on my own but I never sought medical help because as an uninsured young adult in the music industry, I never thought I could afford it. Plus, I have no family to to help me out.
Last week, I went to the psych ER to see what, if anything, they could do for me. They set me up with a social worker who authorized it so Washtenaw County will pay for me to recieve one week of inpatient care and two weeks of outpatient daily care. This is the exact stepping stone I need to recover from anorexia once and for all. This means that every day for the next two weeks, I will be in treatment from 9 to 5 getting the therapy, medicine, and care I need.
The downside? Being in treatment all day leaves me no time to work. It’s also part of the reason that Match by Match has had to cancel our September tour.
This is going to be a long, hard process. I’m scared. I’m nervous. I’m incredibly stressed out. And I need your help.
I’m trying to raise $800 to cover my cost of living for the rest of the month. $800 will cover my costs for...
And isn’t feeding me the whole point of recovery?
Help me on my road to recovery. My health is something I have neglected horribly for more than half my life. Now, however, my health is more important to me than ever before. If you donate, you’ll get the priceless reward of seeing a happier, healthier Amber.
I’ll be live blogging my road to recovery in brutal honesty at feedamber.tumblr.com
Today marks the sixth day of Feed Amber. Thanks to your generosity, I’ve made an absolutely stagger $1,135. Ideally, this would be a cause for celebration. Unfortunately, I’m not too happy right now and if you’ve been keeping tabs on the tumblr, you know why.
Initially, the profits of Feed Amber were going to cover my cost of living while I was in treatment. However, I found out days ago that the state of Michigan wants to stop funding my treatment, despite the fact that my nurses do not think I’m ready to be in charge of my own care.
Infuriatingly, I’ve also found out that treatment for my anorexia is a very slim option. I met yesterday with a social worker from Washtenaw County to review my case. I was told blatant lies like...
“The medical community doesn’t have eating disorder clinics anymore.”
“There isn’t treatment for anorexia available. That’s the bottom line.”
Most infuriatingly, the severity of my situation was minimized with statements like “Well, you don’t look overly thin.”
This means, that while the state has offered me help, they have put me in the hands of people who are not equipped to deal with me. The casual attitude about eating disorders is making my journey to recovery nearly impossible. It wasn’t until Friday that my vital signs were finally checked, leading to the discovery of my chronic, critically low blood pressure, something that the doctors in charge of my care refuse to attribute to anorexia. Instead, their medical advice was “Try to drink more water.”
This means that even though I’ve already broken a grand thanks to your generosity, I now have out of pocket therapy and legal costs to get consider. I still have a long way to go and you can help Feed Amber by...
- Donating to help cover the costs of bi-weekly eating disorder therapy at http://www.indiegogo.com/FeedAmber
- Buy some knitted goods from Katherine Wagner, who is generously donating the funds from her Etsy store to Feed Amber over the next week. http://www.etsy.com/shop/KnittedGood?ref=si_shop
And most importantly...
- Share the Indie Go Go.
- Reblog the tumblr.
- Retweet on twitter.
- RSVP to the Facebook event and invite your friends.
I want to change the way that the medical community regards eating disorders. There are thousands of girls who live in the daily self-created hell of unhealthy eating habits. I am not alone. But no one will listen to us without your support.
If we break $1,500 on Feed Amber in the next 9 days, EVERY CONTRIBUTOR WILL GET A SUPER AWESOME I FED AMBER BUTTON - Handmade by me!
What are you waiting for? Join the revolution. Let’s change the world.