Category Archives: Parents & Loved Ones

Letting Go of Control

For the Worried Mom & the Anxious at Heart

“So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” Matthew 6:34

Shortly after losing my sweet friend to cancer, I gave birth to an incredible baby boy. Matthew is a complete joy. He is full of bright smiles, giggly laughs and personality. He melts my heart and makes me wish I could freeze the clock a hundred times each day. So much of my heart is wrapped up in this tiny being.

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Receiving this precious bundle of new life right on the heels of witnessing death has been a constant reminder that every moment is a gift.

But with that also comes an acute awareness of the fragility of life. Nothing on Earth is guaranteed.

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Two days after Matthew’s birth, while we were preparing to leave the hospital, our sweet baby started choking in his sleep. Nurses rushed over to help him catch his breath and tears spilled over my worried eyes. Thankfully, the choking subsided and he only had to spend 24 hours hooked up to monitors in the nursery before we were able to take him home (turns out he just chokes easily on his reflux). But it was in that moment—watching my baby struggle for air—that I felt panic strip away my own ability to breathe deeply.

For the next two months, I felt like I was holding on for dear life—terrified to let go, breathe and “just be.” The tiniest love of my life was depending on me 24/7. His dad was away with the Air Force and, for better or worse, this sweet baby was stuck with me to take care of his every need.

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My anxiety hit an all-time high.

But what if I mess up? What if I close my eyes for just a second and something horrible happens to him? What if he chokes & I’m not there to help him? What if I miss something important? What if he gets sick? What if I lose him too?

Never in my life had I felt so much love for someone so tiny. The fear of losing him felt constant, unrelenting, and all-consuming.

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Two months later, we reunited with my husband at our new base.

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Life has calmed down a bit and the fear has begun to ease. But I still have moments when that fear starts to take hold.

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There are still times during each day when I find myself worrying about the endless list of possible dangers our son could face.

Sometimes those fears don’t seem too farfetched… choking, SIDS, dead bugs and other gunk on floor that he’s guaranteed to try eating one of these days…

Other times, I’m pretty sure I’ve passed the line of normal new-mom fears and crossed into the much dreaded helicopter parent zone, or even worse, the freaked-out-crazy-neurotic-mom that makes helicopter parents seem mild. Unable to sleep at night, I’ll catch myself worrying about fires, brain eating amoebas (the kid can’t even walk yet, let alone swim underwater in a lake), dry drowning, cancer, criminals, storms , wars, car accidents… and, good gracious, the list keeps going.

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But whether the fears are “normal” or a little on the crazy side, the underlying issue is the same—control. Never in my life have I felt the need to control every possible danger like I do now that I’m a mother.

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But here’s the thing…

No matter how hard I try to protect Matthew and no matter how responsible I try to be at parenting, I will never be able to control everything. Injuries, illness and heartache are all guaranteed to come in and out of his life. There will always be dangers lurking in the shadows and, despite my best attempts, I will not always be able to see them coming in time to intervene.

Furthermore, no matter how hard I try, I still will never be a perfect parent. I will make mistakes, many mistakes. And that’s okay, because let’s be honest…

I will never be able to supply all of my son’s needs. There will always be a need in his life for someone infinitely better than me.

Thankfully, that Someone actually is in control over everything. Not only that, but He loves my son with a love that is more perfect, more complete and more powerful than anything in this world.

“You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
 You saw me before I was born.
Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
before a single day had passed.

How precious are your thoughts about me, O God.
They cannot be numbered!
I can’t even count them;
they outnumber the grains of sand!
And when I wake up,
you are still with me!” Psalm 139:15-18

It’s okay that I’ll never be a perfect parent, because our heavenly Father is the only who can fill that role.

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And so enters my daily need to choose faith over fear.

“He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection. Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night, nor the arrow that flies in the day. Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness, nor the disaster that strikes at midday. Though a thousand fall at your side, though ten thousand are dying around you, these evils will not touch you.” Psalm 91:4-8

We decided to name our son Matthew because it means gift from God. The gift of his life brings me more joy than I can put into words and I will do everything in my power to provide him with the best life possible.

But part of giving him the best life possible means letting go. Letting go of fear. Letting go of control.

The other part of Matthew’s name means unwavering defender.

I long for our son to grow into a man who stands confidently in his faith in God, holds his head high and does not waver when storms come his way.

Passing on an anxious spirit will not serve him. But passing on a spirit of peace, courage and faith will take him further than my protective momma arms could ever reach.

So when I feel myself grasping for control and fearing the worst, may I set my eyes on the One who actually is control, trust in His sovereignty, release my clinched fists and embrace the peace that comes from remembering His love will never end.

“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” John 14:27

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Dealing with Shame & Embarrassment Post-Recovery

Background

One of the things that prevented me from seeking help for so long was my fear of how people would respond when they found out I had an eating disorder. This fear of what other people would think held me back and kept me locked inside a world of shame, embarrassment, and constant struggling.

In order to get the help I needed and to fully break free from the bondage of the eating disorder, I had to address this fear dead on. I had to let go of my fear of what other people would think and I had to let go of my feelings of embarrassment and shame. Although it might sound easy, that process was extremely difficult for me and took years. But eventually I got there and reached the healthy place I’m at today.

However, I would be lying if I said there weren’t moments when those feelings of shame, embarrassment and fear didn’t come flooding back. The truth is, after years of being recovered, I still have moments where I feel weighted down by shame and embarrassment about my past. Those moments are few and far between. But they still have a way of popping up occasionally and catching me off guard. Yesterday was one of those moments.

After finding out that I’m pregnant, my husband and I started looking into life insurance plans so that we would be able to provide for our child in the event of a tragedy. With my medical history, I figured it was probably a long shot that the insurance company would accept my application. Sure enough, we found out yesterday that my application had been denied. The reason they stated for turning me down was my past struggle with depression and anorexia. Even though I had somewhat expected this outcome, I was surprised at the emotions I felt when I received the news. I felt ashamed and embarrassed.

You see, in many ways, I feel so far removed from that part of my life. Apart from reflecting on my past struggles to help mentor and encourage other people, I don’t spend a great deal of time thinking about that chapter of my life. So when situations come up where I am still looked at differently because of my past, it catches me a bit off guard and it can be difficult to not feel embarrassed and ashamed.

Sometimes these emotions sweep over me after dealing with insurance complications. Sometimes they weigh down on me when I try to build new relationships and people learn about my story. Sometimes these emotions result from listening to people in my life make insensitive comments about my past or about other people who struggle with addictions or mental health. Sometimes I’m faced with these emotions when I publish a blog post to encourage others (because I have to accept that people who never knew my story might still find out and think less of me). The list goes on.

It’s in moments like these when, despite having made it through to other side of my battles, I still have a tendency to feel like a disappointment, like someone who let everyone down, like a girl who screwed up and who will never be totally looked at the same as everyone else. Questions start racing through my mind and that old fear about what other people think or that old sense of shame begins to shake my confidence.

But here’s the deal. Here’s the raw and honest truth that I’ve had to remind myself today:

I am not perfect. I am loved anyways. I have stumbled many times. I am loved anyways. I hated myself. I am loved anyways. I starved myself for years. I am loved anyways. I forced my body to throw up after countless meals. I am loved anyways. I exercised relentlessly in a desperate attempt to lose weight. I am loved anyways. I used self-harm to relieve emotional pain. I am loved anyways. I lied to cover up my struggles. I am loved anyways. My recovery cost my family thousands of dollars. I am loved anyways. My insurance complications remain a financial burden for my family because of my medical history. I am loved anyways. I will never be perfect. I am loved anyways.

Yes, I am loved by my family & friends and I cannot imagine my life without them. But people come and go, and I am not guaranteed to have any of them tomorrow. What I am guaranteed to have, however, is a God who loves me unconditionally, who sees my imperfections but still calls me beloved, and who welcomes me into his arms no matter how far I have fallen.

What I Don’t Have to Do

Because God chose to love me in the midst of my brokenness, I don’t have to live a life weighted down by shame and embarrassment. Because he chose to walk through the muck with me, I don’t have to worry if others choose to flee. Because he chose to call me daughter, I don’t have to be afraid of being abandoned. Because he chose to forgive me, my shame has been washed away and I no longer have to carry its weight on my shoulders.

What I Will Do

Because I am loved by my Heavenly Father no matter where I’ve been and no matter what I’ve done, I will choose to hold my head high today. Because he delivered me from death’s doorstep, I will continue telling my story. Because he sent help my way when I needed it most, I will continue sharing my experience with others and walking alongside them on their road to recovery.

If insurance companies deny me coverage or expect me to pay unachievable premiums, I will choose to use that as inspiration for spreading mental health awareness, rather than choosing to let shame and embarrassment send me cowering into a hole.

If people think less of me because they hear my story, I have to be willing to let that go. I won’t hold grudges against these people but will offer them grace and space as they struggle to accept people for who they are — broken and imperfect but loveable just the same.

My hope in sharing this part of my journey with you is this:

If you are struggling with feelings of shame and embarrassment about your own story (whatever that story might be), I hope you will be reminded that you are loved exactly as you are—beautifully imperfect. When you feel ashamed or embarrassed about your story, I hope you will let go of that weight on your shoulders and rest in the love God has for you. Consider writing out a list similar to the one I wrote above (I have ___. I am loved anyways). Fill in the blanks with pieces of your own story and remember… you are loved anyways.

Perhaps you are reading this post but, instead of beating yourself up about your own imperfections, you have a tendency to brush people off or look at them differently when you find out they have struggles. If this is true for you, I hope you will realize that your words and actions have a profound impact on their attempts at breaking free. Also, remember that not one of us is perfect, not even you. God chose to love each of us, including you, despite our brokenness and imperfections. So who are you to judge someone else for their struggles and flaws? Lastly, if the topic of eating disorders or other struggles and addictions makes you uneasy, I would encourage you to research the subject and gain knowledge about what those people go through, rather than being quick to judge and run away.

Final Thoughts

I ran across this quote the other day that was posted on a friend’s Facebook status. I don’t know for sure who the quote is by, but I love the message:

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.” – by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross (according to Google)

You are beautiful. Never.Give.Up.

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Eating Disorder Awareness

In honor of Eating Disorder Awareness Week that is right around the corner, I thought I would share this piece that I wrote a few years ago.

I never thought I would become one of those girls. I had seen their stories on TV, their faces in the magazines, their bodies in the tabloids. But never could I imagine that I was one of them. Denial is quite the illusionist. Its deception covered my eyes with a dark veil, blinding me from reality. Years of distortion—how could I not see it? How could I not realize that my thoughts were under an eating disorder’s control? Because this distortion has become the common thought process among our society. We have all been fed lies about what being healthy looks like. We have been told that being in shape means wearing our bodies down to nearly nothing, to a near nonexistence. This distorted message is placing our teenagers on death’s doorstep. They are heart attacks waiting to explode. The time bomb is ticking and millions of lives are at stake. The lives that have been stolen from us can never be won back. We cannot pull these beautiful people out of the grave and tell them, “It was all a lie—you never had to be that thin!” No. That chance is forever lost. But there are generations of lives waiting to hear that same message before they suffer the same devastating fate. Today you have a choice. You can sit idle, remain quiet, and allow millions more to die; or you can stand with me in this cause, speak truth from your mouth, and fight to share the message of true beauty and health with the world. Eating disorders are the deadliest mental illness in existence. They rip apart families, destroy homes, and fill our graves with precious souls as young as 6 years old. Today is all you have. Will you choose to make a difference?

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Northfield Ministries: Cost Effective Treatment

As many of you know, the cost of inpatient treatment can be outrageously expensive and insurance rarely covers the expenses. Consequently, people are denied treatment every day because they cannot afford the care they so desperately need. If you or someone you know is in need of residential treatment but is unable to afford the expenses, consider looking into the Northfield Cumberland Home in Virginia. A dear friend and mentor of mine, Gwen Seiler, has devoted the last several years of her life to creating a Christ-centered program that offers a safe-haven for women to receive treatment at a significantly reduced cost. According to Northfield’s website, “45 days at the Northfield Cumberland Home is less expensive than the average 3 – 7 day hospitalization.” Northfield offers both residential and outpatient services, as well as weekend retreats. Visit http://www.northfieldministries.org/ today to discover if this program is right for you or your loved one.

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What do I mean when I say 100% recovered?

What do I mean when I say 100% recovered?

When I would hear people say they had recovered, I wanted to know what that actually meant to them. You see, there were people who would say they’d recovered; but when I looked at their lives I saw red flags indicating that perhaps the eating disorder was still in their life more than they realized (or were willing to admit). Either way, this scared me. I wanted to believe that there was more freedom waiting for me at the end of this battle than what I was seeing in some of their lives. So I made goals for the life that I wanted free from an eating disorder, and then I fought with everything I had to believe those goals could be my reality. When I doubted whether that degree of freedom could actually be mine, I had an incredible support system made up of my treatment team, friends, and family who held onto that hope with me. Together, we dared to believe that total freedom was possible. Today, I know that was not just wishful thinking, but rather it was a reality that in time would be mine.

So what were some of those goals and what do they look like today?

To me, being recovered is so much more than just maintaining a stable, healthy weight. It means I am completely free. Free from the constant battle that used to wage in my head.  Free from the rules, fears, guilt, and self-hatred of the eating disorder. Free from its unrealistic and deadly expectations. Free from the need to be thin.

I love having a body that is strong, healthy and able to enjoy the fullness of life. I enjoy food and all of its varying flavors. I understand that there are no such things as “bad foods” or “good foods.” It’s all about moderation. If I want pizza, steak, ice cream or anything else that I used to be terrified of eating, I don’t just eat it…I eat it with enjoyment and free of any guilt. I no longer feel the need to compensate for what I eat by exercising, purging, or anything else. Feeling hungry or full no longer causes anxiety.  I am able to listen to the cues my body sends and eat intuitively. Calorie counting has no place in my life. When I exercise it is because I want to be active, strengthen my muscles, and keep up with my adventurous husband (not because of the reasons the eating disorder used to demand). I realize that the expectation of thinness our society clings to is a very distorted and unhealthy goal. I trust the weight range my treatment team developed for me and I have no desire to lose weight. My body is no longer my enemy. Instead, I have learned to nurture and honor what God has given me… Honestly, I could go on with this list for days because so many things have changed in my life as a result of my recovery. But to sum it up, I can honestly say that I would never be able to have the incredible life I have now if I was still in the eating disorder (more on that to come in later posts… you can also check out my Inner Beauty post for some discussion on how my body image has changed through recovery).

Does being recovered mean a thought never crosses my mind? No. But they are few and far between. If an unhealthy thought does cross my mind, I immediately combat it with a healthy one and take it as a signal that I need to check in with myself and ramp up my self-care. I take the time to figure out what served as the trigger, deal with the underlying issue, and move forward (rather than spiraling down into e.d. behaviors). Resorting to the e.d. behaviors is no longer an option for me. If I am worried that the thought could have the potential to turn into a behavior, I reach out and ask someone I trust to hold me accountable until I no longer feel at risk. I understand that I am recovered, not invincible. Therefore, I try to be cautious and do whatever is necessary to prevent myself from sliding backwards. But again, these moments are very few and far between, and the thought or urge does not dictate the outcome. By intercepting the thought early on and taking the steps to deal with it in a healthy way, I am able to resist the behavior and continue embracing a healthy, free life.

Living free from the eating disorder does not feel like a battle anymore. It feels natural. I am free from that bondage and it is the most wonderful blessing to be on other side.

 

*Side note: If you have any questions about what else a full recovery means to me (or anything else), please feel free to ask!  The purpose of this blog is to encourage those of you who are facing this struggle, so please never hesitate to ask me questions. I will share anything from my experience that might be helpful for you, just let me know.

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Peterson Nutrition & Fitness

Need a great dietician and/or support group? Check out Peterson Nutrition & Fitness! http://www.petersonnutrition.com/

Elisabeth Peterson is a Certified Eating Disorders Registered Dietitian (CEDRD) who served a pivotal role in my recovery. She offers terrific individual counseling, a variety of workshops, and life-changing support groups. Elisabeth understands the complexity of eating disorders, and she patiently works with her clients to help them navigate the road to recovery. Seeking help can be a terrifying step, but Elisabeth’s nurturing approach makes that step much easier to take.

If you are struggling and do not currently meet with a registered dietician, I would strongly encourage you to contact Elisabeth today.

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Parents

A couple years ago I had the opportunity to attend a parent support group and speak with them about eating disorders. Below you will find segments of the packet I wrote up to give to them. I have not included everything from it in this post, but have included some of the main points. Hope it can be a helpful resource to some of you.

Introduction:

Witnessing your child wrestle with an eating disorder, regardless of their age, can feel heartbreaking for a parent. Questions race through your mind sending you into a frantic search for answers. How could this have happened? Am I to blame? Will this ever go away? How can I fix this? The list stretches on for miles. Feelings of fear, guilt, and helplessness may consume you as you desperately try to help your child recover. If you are finding yourself in this place, I want to encourage you to hang on through the storm no matter how rough it gets.

Rather than having a child who had an eating disorder, I was the child with the eating disorder. Understand that I use the term “child” loosely and am referring to individuals of all ages, even adults. A parent’s love does not cease to exist once their child reaches adulthood. Although parental roles transform over time, a parent’s love stretches into eternity. For this reason, having your child fight an eating disorder can be agonizing regardless of age.

Soon after my nineteenth birthday, I confronted my parents about my secret battle with anorexia nervosa and asked them for help. Knowing next to nothing about eating disorders, we scheduled an appoint for me to meet with a counselor and thought it would only take a session or two to “fix me.” However, reality quickly taught us otherwise. At my second appointment, the counselor realized the severity of my illness and recommended that I consider entering inpatient treatment. My parents’ world flipped upside down at this point. Two weeks later I boarded a plane for sixty days of inpatient treatment in Arizona. Before my parents could even really process that I had an eating disorder, they had to send me across the country into the hands of total strangers.

What we originally thought would be a quick fix ended up being a battle far more time consuming and challenging than we ever imagined. In order to move forward, we were forced to accept the reality that recovering from an eating disorder is a process that cannot be rushed. Eating disorders do not develop overnight. Therefore, they cannot be expected to disappear suddenly. With this acceptance, we were able to move toward change and begin surviving the storm.

Throughout my recovery, my parents experienced difficulty when looking for resources for themselves. They struggled with many unanswered questions and had to learn how to best support me with very little education from others. I hope that by sharing with you from my story, you will be spared some of that frustration and confusion. I pray that by opening up with you about my struggle you will gain a deeper understanding of eating disorders and how you can best support your loved one.

Will this ever go away?

Let me start by assuring you that recovery is most certainly possible. Although it might not always seem true, I promise that freedom is attainable. The statistics of this disease can often be terrifying and discouraging, but hope does exist. Your child’s struggle does not have to end in defeat. Even if your child is unable to believe that right away, hold onto that hope for them. Stand with them, believing there is a light at the end of this tunnel. I can tell you from my own experience that the more people I had holding onto hope with me, the more feasible it became in my heart and mind. For the patient, recovery can seem completely out of reach and impossible to obtain. When believing in recovery became too difficult for me, I could look to others who held onto that hope for me. Seeing that confidence in their eyes gave me strength to persevere.

How long?

With that said, understand that recovering from an eating disorder takes time. How much? Everyone’s journey is different; there is no “one size fits all” solution. Professionals often compare recovery to pealing back an onion. There are many layers that have to be pealed away and worked through during this process. Each individual has a unique story that led him or her to where they are today. We cannot place a deadline on recovery. We can only do the work that is required and take it one step at a time, one bite at a time. Healing from an eating disorder requires learning a brand new approach to food and to life. Allow your child and your entire family grace, time and patience as you step through this process.

How can I fix it?

Many parents, out of fear, try to be the ones to fix their child. Parents hear their child is struggling and they automatically leap into fix-it-mode. Although this action may stem from loving intentions, it can actually be more harmful for the child. Rather than the parents trying to fix the problem themselves, it is best for them to find a team of professionals who can walk their child through the necessary steps. Trusting strangers with your child’s well being is never easy. However, in this situation, it is best. Research professionals in your area and find someone who specializes in eating disorders and who your child can feel comfortable meeting. I recommend starting with a dietician, therapist, and a primary care doctor. If necessary, they can refer you to a psychiatrist as well. Once a team is in place, trust them to work with your child. Allow them to serve as the professionals so you can step into a role of support.

For some, the thought of their child needing therapy or any type of help is too embarrassing to consider. I have seen several families wrestle in this area. For the sake of your child, I urge you to let go of that pride and accept the fact that no one is perfect, not even your child. It is not only okay for your child to receive professional help, it is critical. This battle cannot be won alone. It requires acknowledging the problem, surrendering control, and seeking profession help. Please do not let a false mask of perfection strip away your child’s life before your very eyes. Seek help today.

Am I to blame?

Guilt commonly haunts parents of people with eating disorders. They desperately fear they are to blame for their child’s illness. This can be a debilitating burden to carry. Listen to me when I say you are not the cause of your child’s eating disorder. A wide variety of factors combine to produce the development of this illness. These factors can include but are not limited to biological characteristics, societal pressures, life experiences, personality traits, coping mechanisms, and more. I have heard some describe patients as having a genetic vulnerability for the illness and that it was a combination of many elements that pulled the trigger. If anything, you may have unknowingly contributed to the pile, but there were still so many other factors that played a role. You had no way of knowing that your child already had a predisposition for the disease. You are not the cause. Let go of that guilt before it eats away anymore of your heart. Healing from an eating disorder is not about placing blame; it is about embracing a healthy change. Let go of your guilt so that you and your family may move forward towards healing.

What happens when your child begins to slip in their recovery?

Slip and falls are going to happen. If you had never ridden a bike and someone placed one in front of you, would you have been able to hop on, ride off, and never wobble or fall? More than likely, the answer is no. Learning how to ride a bike usually comes with a fair share of falls. Recovery is no different. When we fall, we learn how to get up and how to better navigate next time. As difficult as it will be, I encourage you to remain calm when these slips occur. Offer an encouraging voice that lets your child know it is okay they stumbled and you believe they have what it takes to keep trying. If you panic, your child may feel too fearful to “get back on the bike” so to speak. Remain calm and cheer them on towards their goal. If the patient falls down and is unable to “get back on the bike”, it may be necessary to increase treatment temporarily, while the patient regains strength. Your child’s team of professionals should be able to let you know when and how this needs to take place.

What things are helpful to say?

As your child begins the path to recovery, you may feel like you are walking on eggshells terrified of saying the wrong thing. Whatever you say, try to filter out comments of judgment and criticism. Patients with an eating disorder have a constant recording in their mind filled with vicious self-criticism, self-judgment, and self-hatred. This recording has been set on maximum volume and, until later in the recovery process, it never stops playing. Your child is drowning beneath the weight of criticism and judgment daily. Adding to that load may worsen their condition. Instead, speak words of encouragement and affirmation. Let them know you believe in them and you love them no matter where they are in this journey. Let them know you are available, but try not to take it personally if they choose to not open up right away. Trust that they are being vulnerable with their treatment team and allow that to give you some peace. Sometimes just knowing the parents are available is what the child needs most. If they feel they must talk with you about everything, they may feel the need to hide and isolate in avoidance. However, if they feel their parents are unavailable for them, they may believe they are invisible, unworthy, a burden, etc… Either way, these can serve as triggers for the eating disorder. Basically, if you combine encouragement, unconditional love, support, and availability for your child, you are off to a great start.

When the patient begins looking healthier, a natural reaction of most people is to make comments such as, “You look so healthy now!” When eating disorder patients hear the word healthy, they hear the word fat. In their minds, the two are equal. Instead of taking the above comment as a compliment, they perceive it as, “I look fat.” Perhaps another way to affirm one’s recovery would be to say, “Your eyes shine with vitality now. Your life means so much to me. I am very grateful you’re alive.”

One more thing to keep in mind… A common reaction people have when a patient is struggling is to say, “Just do it. Just eat. Just stop acting this way!” As difficult as it can be for a healthy mind to comprehend, the patient can’t “just do it.” The battle raging within them is debilitating and it will take time working through recovery before they will be able to just do it. Gift them with your patience as they fight to win this battle.

Conclusion:

Winning this battle requires great courage. If you are willing to ride out the bad days, no matter how difficult they become, and continue pressing forward in this journey, you will find the light at the end of the tunnel. Hold onto that hope no matter what happens.

My prayers & heart go out to each of you!

With love,

Kimberly

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