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To My Mom, Who Supported Me Through Anorexia Relapse

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It’s hard to know where to begin to explain all my mom has done for me. I suppose, in short, she has saved my life. As a shy, anxious child I clung to my mom as the center of my world. With her I was safe and all my fears were put at ease when she was near.

As I grew up, my mom was always someone I could confide in, someone I could look to for counsel, and someone I knew loved me unconditionally. When faced with bullies in grade school, my mom was my defender, the arms I would cry into at the end of the day, and the one constant support I could rely on.

Despite my mom’s consistent support and love, my worth as a person took a direct hit, coupled with all the other factors that lead to an eating disorder (personality, anxiety, genetics, perfectionism, etc.) I was diagnosed and hospitalized with anorexia in ninth grade at the age of 14. For me it happened fast, and I found myself in a hospital on bedrest, confused, distraught and being tormented by own mind. My mom never left my side throughout my hospitalization, helping through the painful process. We spent many days and nights watching “Gilmore Girls” and getting Ensure into my malnourished body. My mom took time off work to help me heal and get me back on feet. She encouraged me to follow my passions and supported me, her fragile yet determined daughter. She allowed me to chase my dreams, she supported my endeavors and continued to be my number one supporter. As I moved through adolescence to adulthood, my mom became my best friend and we were always there to support each other or simply just play card games and drink tea together and chat about our days.

Over the past couple of years, anorexia has reared its ugly head and I’ve relapsed with a vengeance. Previous to my relapse, I was doing well in nursing school, running and teaching at my own dance studio, and was part of my local theatre company, performing in shows. I had to give all of it up when I got sick.

Devastated and feeling entirely lost, my mom was there to remind me that my health, my well-being and recovery were of the utmost importance. Anorexia took over me, and I was on the path to complete self-destruction. Despite my outbursts of anger, and fear as my parents or medical staff began to intervene as my health plummeted to dangerous points, my mom never gave up on me. She drove me hours and hours to appointments for inpatient treatment centers, took time off of work, spent hours in the hospital with me, stayed awake all night ensuring I was alive and did everything she could to help protect me from the illness that overcome me.

My mom has been an amazing example of strength, resiliency, faith and holding onto hope. My mom held onto hope for me when I had no hope left to hold onto. Her devotion, love and support has kept me alive. I wish I could adequately express how grateful I am for my mom. I don’t think I will ever be able to in words, so I will just end here by saying, “Thank you, Mom! I love you!”

If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, you can call the National Eating Disorders Association Helpline at 1-800-931-2237.

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Originally published: February 4, 2018
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