A letter written by health educator, speaker, and author Lee Wolfe Blum describes perfectly what it is like to struggle with an eating disorder, and is a great way to gain insight into the mind of your loved one.
“I want to share my feelings about my eating disorder with you because I want you to understand my struggle. I know that understanding an eating disorder is difficult; there are times when even I don’t understand. This struggle has provoked intense and unfamiliar feelings in me and I fear that my reactions to these feelings might be misunderstood.”
Their eating disorder may make them feel:
Someone with an eating disorder may feel a sense of loss of control when seeking recovery options or being around food or reminders of their insecurities. They may feel that their eating disorder has taken away valuable parts of their life.
“Occasionally I feel my panic subside. I am learning some helpful ways to cope; I’m now convinced I am not crazy and believe I will survive… I am dealing with my trauma and past that I have buried so deep behind my mask…I am learning to eat normally even though it scares me. I am learning to have a voice. I want to be me. Not me with an eating disorder.”
You can help by being:
- A listener
- Comfortable with your loved one
Talking about an eating disorder can be uncomfortable. Although you may want to immediately offer solutions, it is better to let your loved one expose their private thoughts and to support their small successes in their long recovery journey.
“Encourage me to maintain my sense of humor; guide me to find joys. Celebrate with me my successes, even ones as small as making it through a meal or a day. Remind me that I am more than a person with an eating disorder. Help me by sharing your strength…Eventually I will be beyond this. I know my eating disorder will change me and change my life, but it will be for the better….. The recovered me will have a voice and a strength that I didn’t have before. I will no longer be controlled by this struggles.”
To read the full letter, visit: http://leewolfeblum.com/a-letter-to-loved-ones-supporting-someone-with-an-eating-disorder/
Adrien Paczosa is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian practicing in Austin, Texas and the surrounding counties.
She is the owner and founder of I Live Well Nutrition her Dietitian practice which started in 2007 and serves clients in the Austin, Texas area in two locations. Fearless Practitioners, the division of her business that offers training to dietitians and wellness professionals.