Message to my daughters eating disorder!
You can go now. You are not welcome by me or those around me . You have been here too long and it’s just time for you to go.
When you first arrived and started to make yourself known, you took me by surprise. How could my happy-go-lucky, always smiling daughter have an eating disorder? Because of her stresses of high school and trying to find her place, you started to confuse her. You started by helping her believe that a little more weight loss and little less eating would be good. Keep it a secret. Maybe try to be like the other pretty girls at school, Maybe stop thinking so clearly about what is most important . Maybe stop reaching out to talk with her friends or teachers or siblings to help sort out the feeling.
I was shocked but was glad I saw what was going on. We helped her as we could. Found her a therapist to talk to , then another therapist when that one was not helpful. We found a dietician. I kept watching my daughter try to be happy while I knew she was struggling. I traveled with her and her band she loved so much. The Band director shared his concern with me as something was off with my daughter.
You were settling in and grabbing hold. You scared me. You scared my daughter. You caught my family by surprise. With tears and pain I found a place where my daughter would get help while not living at home.
I think at that time you were willing to step back and think about going away. But I know, you stood on the side lines, watching and waiting. As my daughter started to think about what she was doing and learned tools and coping skills to deal with her thoughts, your presence was not very well know. We were finding our daughter’s smile coming back, her laughter and her friends welcomed her back.
Little did we know that you were just getting started. You also sent a friend to introduce herself to my daughter best friend. That didn’t help at all. When someone close to you is struggling and you are , too, it’s best to not be with each other that much. But there you took away my daughter best friend, the one she met while her brother was playing baseball with her brother. They spent days and nights and years and hours being together, sharing thoughts, feelings, laughs and more laugh. They were to each other what every girl hopes for, a friend who you can always count on no matter what.
But now that was gone, you and your friends were running that. It didn’t help. It made things worse. Where does a teenage girl who is struggling in high school to find her place while what she enjoyed before is losing its charm, how does she find new friends and different friends when so many of them seem to be doing things that she doesn’t want to be involved with. When you feel out of control, you find something you can control. And you showed her she could feel like she belonged and had an identity with you. It’s sick. It’s wrong. But you didn’t seem to care.
Back and forth, in and out of treatment, my daughter struggled and you sat right next to her. You also invited a friend called OCD to introduce themselves to her. That seemed to have a stronger personality than you at times. The two of you combined made my daughter doubt if she had any significance in the world. You made her think many times that it would be better to end her life than live in it. Her younger brother heard her screaming out in pain and distress, many times, TOO many times. I learned to hold her tight and tell her to feel the strength that I had to help to hold her up. I was scared. I was crumbling inside. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I had a friend once called an eating disorder but it wasn’t anything like you. Maybe he wasn’t as strong as you. Maybe God had a different plan for me. Maybe the world was a little easier to understand then and not so confusing as it is today with social media telling false truths about all of our lives.
So now my daughter is away again. She started college and we all had high hopes. She loved it there. She started to see a future for herself that she had not seen before. She started to make friends. She connected with professors and others on campus. She loved it there. But all the while you had found a way in her suitcase of life to go with her to school. As she was trying So hard to put you behind you, you reminded her that you were still there. You thought you could still be a part of her life where she was, away from home trying to make a different life for herself. Shame on you!! Shame on you!! The school thought it best for her to step away and get healthy. We had to not choice but to move her out and find a new place for treatment and hope for a better tomorrow.
So she is there now, away from home, in a different state. We miss her. I miss her. You know what I miss is the whimsical daughter who loved life, poured that positive energy to everyone around her. We don’t miss the struggles around the table for things to talk about while we all wondered what was going on with my daughter. We don’t miss the screams, we don’t’ miss the closed doors and trips to the therapist and meeting and anything we could find that might work.
I miss my family, my happy loving connected family. I miss the laughter, I miss the games, I miss the times together. I cry and pray that there will be a time again that we can be together and be able to take a breath. Be together and love each other for what we all are, the paths that we have chosen .
So you can go!! I think you might be getting the message again from my daughter right now. I heard her say a few days ago that she does NOT want this anymore! She doesn’t want you!!. Do you hear that? You are not welcome. The space that you have occupied is being filled with God loves, a love that surpasses all of our understanding. A love that is for good and not evil. A love that is sovereign. You know what that means. That means God is in control. NOT you! Not your friends. God. And he found his way into my daughter heart and he is setting up shop there. And that is where he will remain. There is no room for you.
God has introduced himself to me again and my broken heart full of pain is getting healed and being filled with hope. He has shown his presence in the people he has brought into my life and the life of my daughter. People have called and reached out, things have happened, things that could not have happened just by chance. I choose to believe there is a greater good and a greater God who has a heart like no other and a plan for our lives for good and not evil. When I read his word and hear the songs that people have written about his unending love, it fills me with hope and peace and a slight glimpse of a life without this type of struggle. I am so thankful for that.
Yes sometimes I still wake up in the middle of the night and wonder what lies you are still telling my daughter. It worries me and starts to fill me with fear. And then breathe. And then I say to my almighty God, I know you have this and I know you have my daughter in your hands. Heal her, bring her peace, send your holy spirit to nurture my husband and my sons. Let’s them know that you are there and love them completely and everything will be ok.
So go, that’s it. Be gone. This is not the life that I expected. But I know that there is something better in the future. Day by day it will get better. I know that my daughter will conquer this disorder, she will thrive. She will grow into a wise and smart and helpful and passionate young woman and find her place in the world. I know that place will be where she can help others with their struggles. She will share the deep dark places that you have taken her and tell those who will listen that there is a wonderful place on the other side . She will say that it’s ok to say goodbye to whatever lie-filled friend is hanging around them. And there is Hope. She will make it and I will cherish the days when I see that come to be.Good Bye forever ED!!!
If you or anyone you know is struggling, call someone. I recommend Eating Recovery Center and you can find them here.
If you don’t feel safe , go to someone and ask for help. if there is no one there, call 911. There is help out there and you are worthy of asking for help and worthy of love unending.