During our long journey through our son’s eating disorder, I have found that people crave reasons. They are mostly looking for reasons as to why this couldn’t happen to them or to their loved ones. I think that this is pretty normal behavior and, I must admit, I have done the same thing many times in my life. If someone died of a scary disease, was the victim of a crime, a natural disaster, an accident, I would look for reasons why. What was unique about that person that would have increased the chances of it happening to them and not me or mine. I
guess we all need reassurance to deal with the uncertainties of life.
I found this to be so much the case during our son’s illness. We scared people. When you don’t fit into the mold, the expected, the obvious explanation, people are frightened because they themselves and their loved ones are suddenly vulnerable. Lung cancer has always scared me. Whenever I heard that someone had this disease, I would always ask if they were a smoker. Why? Not because I knew that this was the leading cause of the disease, but because I wanted reassurance that there was, in fact, a reason. There was a risk factor my family didn’t have, an explanation that didn’t fit my circumstances. It brought a guilty relief.
I really wish that I could have gotten this up much, much sooner, but technical difficulties with the site plagued me for over a week. Holidays can be stressful even under the best of circumstances, but they can very often put fear and dread into the hearts of those with eating disorders and their loved ones. What about the overwhelming amount of food? How much exercise or restriction will be required in preparation for the holiday meal? How will all of the uncomfortable, if well meaning, questions be handled? What about all of the food/calorie/dessert guilt/health talk? How about the stares from the corners of concerned and curious eyes? What about the obvious discomfort of some relatives? Will this day ever end? Those are not the questions my son was asking (actually, they probably were very similar); they were the questions and ruminations in my mind.
Since there is a lot of wonderful information written about how someone with an eating disorder can manage through the holiday season, I thought I would focus on how mom and dad, or any loved one might feel and what they can do to help themselves through the holidays. Since I am the mom of a child with an eating disorder, that is my perspective, but I think/hope that anyone helping a loved one through this season could relate. Continue reading Help for the Holidays
I think that one of the hardest things for me as a mother of a child with an eating disorder is the anxiety that it will happen again. The fear that my son will become sick to the degree he was when first hospitalized is always present in my mind. It is like a guest that never leaves. The other fear is that it will happen to one of my other children. Those fears could be consuming at times. My other children will tell you that I was unbearable to eat with. I didn’t mean to be, but it really was true. My eyes were constantly scanning the plates on the table and observing my children’s mealtime behavior every night at dinner. Was there excessive pickiness? Why was this child not hungry tonight? Why didn’t this child eat the carbohydrates? Why was dessert being refused? Why was water requested to drink instead of milk? By the time the meal was over, we all had indigestion! Continue reading Quelling the Anxiety
This is my first blog post and I must admit I am a little nervous. I thought it might be helpful to tell my readers why I started writing about this subject and a little bit about our journey. Continue reading My Story