To My Mother, Who Supports Me Through Eating Disorder Recovery
I don’t think I express to you enough how grateful I am for all you have done for my eating disorder and mental illness recovery. I know for a fact that I would not be alive if it wasn’t for all of your tenacity, love and support.
You and I both know I was not a “normal” teenager. Obviously this was because at this time in my life, my mental illness and eating disorder planted their seeds in my innocent mind. However, you understood. Even though I put you through all sorts of chaos and trouble, you knew it was not my fault and let me attempt to discover my own way of life. You were always there to pick me back up when I fell, because most of the time, I did. However, you never let me stay down for long. You always encouraged me rather than forcing me to get back up and make moves in a new direction.
You have fought for me from that point on, and continue to do so. You fight for me to get proper treatment. You fight those individuals who hurt me because they don’t understand. You fight with the doctors who dismiss the severity of all that eating disorders cause. And most importantly, when I have lost my voice and am stuck in my dark hole of obsession and pain, you fight the disordered intruder inside of me, reminding me I am my own person. You always remain calm and nurture my soul in a way that allows me to see that there is life beyond the darkness. You help me with food, find the best therapy and doctors and take me in when living on my own becomes unmanageable.
You have been my biggest advocate from day one. You knew when I developed my illness and needed help, even though me and everyone else were in denial. You were the one who spent countless hours, days and weeks of your life on my recovery. You even drove me across the country when I needed hospitalization and inpatient care. If it weren’t for you and your extensive research of my disorder, I would not have had the opportunities for treatment I did. Through that treatment, I discovered what my eating disorder was. I learned it was a voice other than my own that only had one goal: to destroy every part of me. I learned I deserved life and recovery was possible. I learned all of the insight into myself that I still use today. I am forever grateful for all of the knowledge I have that you made possible.
You know when I’m struggling. You know when I’m manic. You know when my life is starting to spiral. You even know when you’ll come home only to find your pantry emptied and your toilet dirty. Yet, you continue to believe in me. Even through I’ve sometimes projected my manic rages and disordered behaviors on you, you accept me for me. You never let me give up on myself, because you show me what good this world has to offer. Together through the years, my recovery and finding stability has been extremely hard and tumultuous on us. But I want you to know that you nurture my soul in a way that allows me to see there is life beyond pain. You provide the safety I so badly need but lose during hard times.
I put myself in your shoes often and I become overwhelmed with gratitude. I see all you juggle, yet still find time to do all you do for our family. You do not have to be the nurturing, selfless, loving and strong mother you are. Yet every single day you prove you will never stop being that woman. You are more than my mother, you are my best friend. Always have been and always will be.
The Daughter Who is Saved Because of 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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