My name is Judy Avrin. On May 6, 2009 my beautiful 19 year old daughter, Melissa, lost her life to an eating disorder. Her five year battle with bulimia wreaked havoc on her academic success, her friendships, and our family.
Throughout her life, even in her darkest moments, Melissa’s creativity shined through. It was always hard for her to express her feelings verbally so she used film making, writing, drawing and acting as means of self-expression. “Someday Melissa, the story of an eating disorder, loss and hope” is a documentary inspired by Melissa’s journal writings. I have made it my mission to speak out and help break through the wall of secrecy and shame surrounding eating disorders.
The Someday Melissa blog is a place to inform, to raise awareness of eating disorder symptoms, to make parents aware of early signs, to ask questions and to share. I battled bulimia for over 20 years but there was so much I didn’t understand about eating disorders, so much denial in the beginning. I had no idea that my history put Melissa at higher risk for developing an eating disorder. I learned a lot, the hard way, through the ups and downs of Melissa’s battle. I will be sharing what I learned as a parent. Some of the things I wish I had known during our journey.
Until now, I have been the voice of Someday Melissa on all platforms (social media and beyond). Now, I’d like to introduce the other voices/members of the Someday Melissa team: Danna, Elizabeth, and Misty.
Danna Markson, LCSW
Danna is a psychotherapist with over 18 years of clinical experience. She graduated with a Master’s Degree in Social Work from NYU in 1994 and has a post-graduate certificate in Family Therapy. Danna is trained in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) – which teach concrete coping strategies to manage emotions, thoughts and situations. Danna has a private practice in Livingston, NJ, specializing in psychotherapy with children, adolescents, adults and families.
After her own battle with Anorexia and Bulimia in college, and with twenty years in recovery, Danna now specializes in the treatment of Eating Disorders.
Elizabeth Gough-Gordon is pursuing her doctorate in journalism and media studies at Rutgers University, specializing in gender and media. She has witnessed the pervasiveness of misinformation and the stigmas about eating disorders both on college campuses and in our culture, and as part of Someday Melissa she hopes to help break down the walls for greater awareness and education about ED. Previously she worked for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and worked on educational initiatives for practitioners and the general public, including a documentary on college student suicide and depression. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, spending time with family and friends, and cheering for the New York Yankees.
Misty Layne has been in recovery from her eating disorder since 2007. A graduate of Jacksonville State University and former Southern belle, Misty moved to New Jersey two years ago. As a former blogger who wrote numerous posts about her struggles with ED, depression and more, Misty offers blog visitors a unique perspective into the world of ED and more importantly, is able to state with intention that it does indeed get better. Besides her work at Someday Melissa, Misty is also an online contributor for Notes on the State of New Jersey, a model, and has written two novels and has self-published a book of poetry.
Our future posts will discuss a wide variety of topics including eating disorders, body image issues, the impact of media, and of course, news about Someday Melissa. We are not eating disorder professionals and cannot provide treatment advice. However, we will share our unique perspectives and experiences and hope to hear from you as well.
If you or anyone you know (or maybe even suspect) could be affected by eating disorders (“ED” from here on out), this is a safe place to find some advice, some answers and community. This site is a place for positivity and hope.