This week is National Eating Disorder Week. You can learn more here on their great website.
As my daughter mentioned this to me last night, I reflected back to a recent parent support group that my husband and I attended. As many of you know our daughter has been struggling through an Eating disorder for over 2 1/2 years now. I wrote about that back in 2016. I encourage you to go back and read that post and share it with others.
One of the parents at the support group my husband and I were attending asked if we thought all this treatment was worth it. She seemed bothered by the interruption in her schedule and the extra ‘work’ that this treatment required be it driving, taking time away from other family members, having to tell other family members what is happening etc. She thought that if something has to give, and she thought it did, that treatment should be the piece that was given up . It might not be worth it, she shared.
Wow!!! Is it worth it. What? spending countless hours driving to and from treatment centers to see your daughter. Talking on the phone with therapist, doctors and centers, trying to find the one that is best for your child ? Being screamed at and hung up on by your precious child. Crying out to the Lord for peace and strength. Looking into alternatives for school and studying and academics in the midst of treatment and recovery. Giving all that you have, mind, energy, emotion and finances trying to help your child, your children, your family, your life as you know it.
I have come to believe that the school part, at least high school that we are speaking of, is really not as importance as we make it out to be. Yes we want our kids to get a wonderful education. The high school my children attend and have attended is one of great caliber, college prep and so well rounded full of all kinds of opportunities for our kids. It is a great school no doubt.
And I believe that the mental health of our children should take precedence over academics at this point. If they are not ‘well’ mentally, how will they be expected to perform in school anyways. How will they be able to go onto college and live away from home, thriving and growing into the young adults that we hope they will become. How will they be able to create a home away from home that is NOT treatment if they are not able to deal with the day to day stressors of life and stay on track with their eating and more?
It’s exhausting. There are times I have felt hopeless as a parent. I wish it was all over. I wish my daughter didn’t suffer with the disorder. Although it is here, right in front of us. Hard work has been done. I have seen my daughter fight for her life, fight for her voice, fight to see a future ahead of her that she feels is worth moving towards. I have doubted the system , I have doubted society and their lack of awareness of the part that we all play in this nasty disorder as well as others issues our children are facing these days. I have doubted myself, my knowledge, my ability to be objective, my ability to say the right things, do they right things and help the right way. And I have never doubted that all this work is worth it.
I have learned that sometimes we have to throw out what we know is the way that things should be done, the path that should be followed and accept the new path, be open to new possibilities and new conversations. The holidays at the end of 2016 sure looked different than they usually have in the past. We spent only a few hours together as a family as a whole. Our daughter had a pass for only a few hours during the day. That was hard to accept. I was fighting that thought inside that I just wanted my house to be as it always in on Christmas morning. It wasn’t like it has been in past. It was ok though. I was so thankful for the time we had together.
I learned this about recovery.
What do you think?
Can you share what your thoughts are? I encourage you to share.
I’d love to hear your experiences, your feedback, thoughts and more.
Of course my thoughts are just that, my thoughts and opinions. I continue to learn. And I am 100% committed to learning and helping and guiding and looking for solutions to issues at hand.
If you are struggling yourself, get help. There are so many resources out there.
If you know someone struggling, Get them help. Encourage them to get the help they need and deserve.
There is no shame in asking for help.
It’s time to change the conversation and be open to helping others without judgement.
Resources you may find helpful.
Ways to change the conversation about food and weight among children.
Learn from Iskra Lawrence. https://www.facebook.com/iamiskra/