Yusra Iftikhar

@yusra-iftikhar | contributor
Yusra is a writer, blogger, and fierce mental health advocate currently working to develop a peer support group for young Muslim professionals and students in the Southern Indiana area. Yusra is an avid writer and her posts on mental illness and recovery were recently featured at The Mighty. A Tar Heel born and bred, Yusra looks forward to returning to North Carolina to pursue a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree this fall. Follow her journey through eating disorder recovery and graduate school on her blog, The DPT Diaries, [thedptdiaries.wordpress.com] and her Instagram page [@thedptdiaries].
Yusra Iftikhar

When Mental Illness Makes You Feel Like an 'Imposter' in Your Own Life

“So it says here that we’re supposed to discuss what PT settings we have experience in.” “Well, I traveled to Mexico once on a medical service tri—” As we sat in class, the train rattled by across the street for what felt like the hundredth time that afternoon. I tried in futility to continue my conversation with my new teammates, but had to give up shortly after the sound of shaking tracks and a rather piercing horn (are all train horns like this!?) had snaked its way into my brain… but not before an exasperated sigh escaped my lips. Maybe a little too loudly. Our professor looked up from her computer. All 22 teams audibly muted their conversations as we waited with tired eyes and I-want-to-go-home-and-nap expressions for the train to pass. To my surprise, my professor had a soft smile on her face. “That train can be kind of annoying, huh?” We laughed, nervously, not wanting to ruffle any feathers in just our third week of classes. She then went on to task us with by far the most impactful assignment I did in my first five months of Physical Therapy school. She paused, and then went on, thoughtfully, “I want everyone to come up with a mantra for themselves. It could be something like, ‘I am enough.’” Thinking she was still talking about our group assignments, my teammates and I quickly tried to come up with the “perfect” answer. As our professor continued to explain, we understood this should be something more private, more personal and more individualized. “Two people can have the same one — that’s OK! I want you to think about something that is meaningful to you. Then, every time the train goes by, I want you to repeat that mantra silently to yourself. You’ll be hearing that train a lot over the next few years, might as well make it mean something.” I had my mantra chosen quicker than you could have said, “train tracks.” I’d like to share it with you, but not just yet. First, I want to talk about the imposter syndrome. If you Google “imposter syndrome,” which I admittedly did to provide a more scholarly background to this piece, hundreds of articles will come up explaining what it is, how to overcome it and stories of celebrities who have found success (they’re just like us!) even when feeling like they were concealing some big fraud — themselves. Imposter syndrome is, as the name suggests, the notion that you will be “found out.” “Found out” for having scored achievements not because of your talents, but despite them. “Found out” for not deserving the job, the education, the positive situation you find yourself in and that, somehow, it is all a fluke. Feelings of “imposterism” are common among students and professionals alike, and I have personally noticed it to be more prevalent for my minority friends. For me, being a minority in race and religion has played a large role in my feelings of imposterism. Throughout my life, I have often been asked where I am from (“No, where are you really from?), making me feel like I don’t belong in this country despite having lived here my entire life. Without any sort of preceding conversation, people look at me and exclaim, “Wow, you don’t even have an accent!” even though I am quite proud of the southern accent I developed while growing up in New Orleans and little ol’ Laurinburg, NC. An accent that really only comes out when I’m talking to people from my hometowns, but a source of pride nonetheless. My headscarf lends itself to long stares, and not always the good kind. I am extremely proud, too, of my Pakistani heritage. Unfortunately, my personal imposter syndrome often compels me to water down some of the best and most unique parts of my identity in order to temporarily send away those thoughts of “I don’t belong here. I don’t fit in here.” I share those experiences not to make this post all about me or to gain sympathy, but to show that imposter syndrome isn’t always a random occurrence. Sometimes, things do happen that lead people to doubt their legitimacy and it is by no fault of their own. As I go through PT school, I am learning that imposter syndrome is not just a minority issue. Success in PT school feels of high consequence, because this time, what we learn is directly applicable to the betterment of our future patients. If I don’t have a background in exercise physiology, is there even a point in me being here? I’ve never even heard of “vO2 max.” It feels like everyone else understands it without having been taught it. I didn’t always want to become a physical therapist. Everyone else seems like they’ve been passionate about it for much longer. Everyone else belongs here, but not me. Everyone else. I have found it so easy to fall into the trap of “I am the only one out of 81 of us who does not know this information and everyone else has grasped it perfectly.” It’s so easy to forget that I am not expected to know everything, that it is from mistakes that I do my best learning, and that if others do know the information better, there is no shame in reaching out to them for help. A person’s feeling of imposterism might manifest slowly over time, waiting to rear its ugly head in an arguably very intellectually and emotionally demanding time – grad school. Or, a student might start to doubt his or her abilities only upon realizing the talent and intellect that surrounds them in the form of their cohort and professors. No matter what the cause, I am here to tell you that you are not alone in feeling this way. But also to tell you: You belong here. You are smart enough to be here. You deserve to be here. One guess as to the mantra I chose for myself.

Yusra Iftikhar

It's Hard to See Calorie Count on Menus in Eating Disorder Recovery

Editor’s note: If you live with an eating disorder, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “NEDA” to 741-741. I haven’t been to the movies in a while, so I was excited when my friend suggested we head to a nearby theater last weekend. We left the house intending to watch either “Hidden Figures” or “La La Land” and of course, with our luck, we ended up in “Split.” To my pleasant surprise, it was a pretty good movie, disturbing as it may have been at times. It had been a while since lunch, and I was getting hungry. I’ve been getting severe stomach pains lately if I don’t eat within a few hours and wanted to make sure I avoided that feeling at all costs, especially while I was away from home. I don’t know who pointed it out first, but my friend and I both ended up noting the theater’s snack menu had calories listed next to each item. She left to use the restroom and I just kind of stood there, unmoving, staring at the menu for a while. As someone who has struggled with an eating disorder, calorie counts still throw me off and cause me to second guess my choices. As soon as I started reading through the options, I felt my mind involuntarily trying to convince itself I could wait another two and a half hours before eating. Turns out, I’ve gotten really quick at mental math. Deep down, I knew I couldn’t wait. So, I took the plunge and ordered. I have spent the past few days trying to be proud of myself for defying my eating disorder in this way, even if it was uncomfortable and frustrating. The problem with calorie counts on menus is it can only go wrong. I feel really, there are two outcomes. Either a person is deterred from eating what they want and what their body may have needed at that time, or they eat it and feel guilt soon after — maybe even as soon as the first bite. It’s not fair for me to generalize, and for those who have never or no longer struggle with food issues, menu calories allow quick access to that information. However, it’s important to keep in mind the number of calories does not give any information regarding nutrition. My breakfast could have a low number of calories, but very little protein to keep me full longer into the day. I could have a high calorie breakfast packed with the nutrients that my body needs to stay healthy and energized. Low calorie does not guarantee nutrition. Low calorie does not guarantee health. Low calorie most certainly does not guarantee happiness. Long story short, I got the nachos. This post originally appeared on Ease and Honor. 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. We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here . Pexels photo via Stockpic.com

Elisa May

The Disparaging Conversation I Overheard at Work About Mental Illness

Today, this is what I overheard in the Senior Leadership room in a primary school: “Another TA has been signed off long term with…” (cue disparaging tone) “anxiety and depression.” I didn’t turn around so can’t be sure, but the sense of inverted comma hand gestures hung in the air. I took a deep breath and continued with my work. This wasn’t unusual. “That’s four staff members off with ‘mental health problems,’ isn’t it?” The conversation continued and I shifted uncomfortably. “It’s ridiculous!” The other staff person said. “Yeah and you have to be really careful because mental health is really big at the moment.” I choked on my croissant. Yeah, it’s a pretty popular at the moment — lol — like emojis and Pokemon Go. I’m sure it’s just a phase, I thought sarcastically. “Well, last week, a member of staff came into school and asked if she could go home because her daughter has anxiety and depression. I asked how old she was and she said — can you believe this? — 20!” The deputy head laughed. It sounded evil, but that’s probably just me. “I said she could keep her phone on but that she needed to be at work.” The support staff leader nodded approvingly. “Too right. She’s had way too much time off for that sort of thing.” I felt my hackles rising. I wondered if they could see my shoulders tense. My eyes were burning a hole in my computer screen. I couldn’t turn around. I know. It’s a classic — and we’re all a bit bored of this analogy, but in my head, I replaced ‘anxiety and depression’ with a physical problem, say “heart problems,” and tried played the revised conversation in my head. “Another TA has been signed off long term with…” (cue disparaging tone) “heart problems.” I didn’t turn around so can’t be sure, but the sense of inverted comma hand gestures was in the air. I took a deep breath and continued with my work. I reminded myself this wasn’t unusual. ‘That’s four staff members off with ‘organ disease.’” I shifted uncomfortably. “It’s ridiculous!” The other staff person said. “Yeah and you have to be really careful because physical illness is really big at the moment.” I choked on my croissant. Yeah, it’s a pretty popular at the moment — lol — like emojis and Pokemon Go. I’m sure it’s just a phase, I thought sarcastically. “Well, last week, a member of staff came into school and asked if she could go home because her daughter has heart problems. I asked how old she was and she said — can you believe this? — 20!” The deputy head laughed. It sounded evil, but that’s probably just me. “I said she could keep her phone on but that she needed to be at work.” The support staff leader nodded approvingly. “Too right. She’s had way too much time off for that sort of thing.” Obviously, this little exercise does nothing to assuage my rage at the situation. I am reeling. This time last year, I had an OCD crisis. I have them every decade or so, but the rest of the time, I’m fine. In those eight weeks of complete and utter misery, I had four days off. In those four days, my mother (retired thank goodness) stayed with me to help me survive. Every other day, I dragged myself into school and cried in the bathroom all through break and lunch. Oh, and erm, I’m 33. One of the people in the discussion I overheard picked up the phone. “Hi there, I hear someone is off with ‘anxiety and depression’ again?” The word “again” sits heavily on my chest. I’m finding it hard to breathe — and it’s not anxiety . “Well, I know, but we have to be so careful with these mental health problems.” I leave the room. And wrote this. Should I have said something? Probably. Did I? No. Well, no one knows I have mental health problems at work. I’m too ashamed to tell them. I wonder why. This piece originally appeared on IntrusiveThoughts.org If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page. If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741 . We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here . Thinkstock photo via in4mal.

Yusra Iftikhar

How I Learned My Weight Didn't Matter in Eating Disorder Recovery

In her book, “Life Without Ed,” Jenni Schaefer shares a personification of her eating disorder, whom she aptly names, “Ed.” She compares Ed’s tendencies to those of an abusive ex or someone of the sort. I found it so eye-opening and relatable that I shared it with two school counselors and a psychiatrist. I even bought a copy for my parents. Schafer’s book changed my perspective on my eating disorder and helped me greatly in making progress towards recovery — for a time. Eventually, I ditched the book. I pride myself on my organization, but I’ll admit it got lost among a deep sea of textbooks and research articles. I became increasingly engaged with graduating and transitioning to Indiana, and slowly, unconsciously, turned back to my Ed. I allowed him the power to guide my thoughts and my self-hatred once again. However, there’s one part of my recovery to which I was always loyal. I stayed far from a weighing scale once I became committed to getting better. Sometimes I tried to find excuses to get out of counseling sessions, and often avoided the food diary I was supposed to keep — but I never weighed myself. I had multiple opportunities, too. There are scales at the gym, in the student health center and I even had one at home for a while until I gave it to a friend when it began to exacerbate my unhealthy habits. Any time I needed to report how much I weighed, I became increasingly prouder to say I had no idea. I went two years without having a clue as to what that number might be. That ended a couple of weeks ago during, what I am happy to report was, one of the most fun trips I took in 2017. A group of friends and I decided to try zip lining in a cavern. It was incredible. There were various sections and lines, one of which led directly into “Hell” (the ground was decorated with fake burning coal and paper fires) and it was almost always too dark to see the next platform. Our tour guides were hilarious and one of our fellow zippers made some of the funniest anti-University of Kentucky basketball jokes I’ve ever heard. I guess it helped that we were in Louisville. It’s not weird to think that I almost missed out on all of this. I’ve been in plenty of situations when my self-hate and constant comparisons have taken me out of a situation mentally and left me feeling empty and detached. I have cried during my own birthday dinners, turned down hiking and rafting invitations I really wanted to accept and felt void of emotion in a group of my closest friends. I know my anxiety is not my fault, but I am starting to see the ways in which I react to it are my responsibility and are under my control, to an extent. Rewind one hour and we had just arrived at the zip lining facility. We signed waivers, showed our IDs and spent five dollars trying to figure out a locker that was only supposed to cost us 50 cents. Then, we were weighed. Upon the employee’s request, I stepped on a scale for the first time in years, but was relieved to find I couldn’t see the number. She wrote it down on a paper hidden from my view, and then moved on to the next member of our group. The problem came when she realized that she was missing a signature. She called my friend over and as she presented the paper to be signed, I saw a row of numbers scrawled across the top. I couldn’t help myself — I searched for mine. I found it. And I was disappointed. It was not the number I wanted to see. I waited for the feelings of failure to come. I was shocked I didn’t feel those things. I went to the bathroom to collect my thoughts and found myself able to see the number in my head and then simply — let it go. No, I didn’t forget it. I know it now and am still a bit resentful at the fact that I gained so much of the weight back. But in the past, this would have derailed my entire day. The 6 a.m. wake up time. The two hour drive to Louisville. It would all have been for nothing. This experience helped me realize I hadn’t been approaching the number on the scale in the best way for my recovery. I wasn’t free of the hold the scale had on me, I was simply avoiding it. I’d quickly avert my gaze anytime I saw a weighing machine and, even now, they make me uncomfortable. Maybe they will for some time longer. But what has been most freeing is finally coming face to face with the number and seeing it for what it truly is: meaningless. 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. We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here . Unsplash photo via Achmad Nur Imansyah.

Yusra Iftikhar

It's Hard to See Calorie Count on Menus in Eating Disorder Recovery

Editor’s note: If you live with an eating disorder, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “NEDA” to 741-741. I haven’t been to the movies in a while, so I was excited when my friend suggested we head to a nearby theater last weekend. We left the house intending to watch either “Hidden Figures” or “La La Land” and of course, with our luck, we ended up in “Split.” To my pleasant surprise, it was a pretty good movie, disturbing as it may have been at times. It had been a while since lunch, and I was getting hungry. I’ve been getting severe stomach pains lately if I don’t eat within a few hours and wanted to make sure I avoided that feeling at all costs, especially while I was away from home. I don’t know who pointed it out first, but my friend and I both ended up noting the theater’s snack menu had calories listed next to each item. She left to use the restroom and I just kind of stood there, unmoving, staring at the menu for a while. As someone who has struggled with an eating disorder, calorie counts still throw me off and cause me to second guess my choices. As soon as I started reading through the options, I felt my mind involuntarily trying to convince itself I could wait another two and a half hours before eating. Turns out, I’ve gotten really quick at mental math. Deep down, I knew I couldn’t wait. So, I took the plunge and ordered. I have spent the past few days trying to be proud of myself for defying my eating disorder in this way, even if it was uncomfortable and frustrating. The problem with calorie counts on menus is it can only go wrong. I feel really, there are two outcomes. Either a person is deterred from eating what they want and what their body may have needed at that time, or they eat it and feel guilt soon after — maybe even as soon as the first bite. It’s not fair for me to generalize, and for those who have never or no longer struggle with food issues, menu calories allow quick access to that information. However, it’s important to keep in mind the number of calories does not give any information regarding nutrition. My breakfast could have a low number of calories, but very little protein to keep me full longer into the day. I could have a high calorie breakfast packed with the nutrients that my body needs to stay healthy and energized. Low calorie does not guarantee nutrition. Low calorie does not guarantee health. Low calorie most certainly does not guarantee happiness. Long story short, I got the nachos. This post originally appeared on Ease and Honor. 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. We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here . Pexels photo via Stockpic.com

Grace Grinnell

Ordering 'Just the Bun' at McDonald's for My Son With Autism

I don’t want to be that customer. I would love to walk into McDonald’s and just order a Happy Meal and be done. Nope, that’s not me. You see, my son only eats the bun. So my order goes like this: “I would like a bun, just the bun, no meat, no ketchup, mustard, pickles or onions or cheese.” The cashier looks at me confused. “Yes, that’s right, I just want the bun, a plain bun with nothing on it.” The manager usually has to come over and show the cashier how to ring it up. I am happy to pay full price for just the bun. Then the kitchen staff always asks, “They just want a bun?” The cashier, manager and I all say yes. We have about a 75-percent success rate. I always have to check before I leave the counter or the drive thru because undoubtedly I still get a bun with a hamburger patty or a bun, no meat but with ketchup, mustard, pickles and onions. Occasionally I get a bun with cheese. As much as I would love to be able to just take the meat off the bun, peel off the cheese or scrape the ketchup and mustard off the bun, I can’t. He would notice. He wouldn’t eat it, and I might lose a food option, and I can’t risk it. My son, who is 10 years old, is on the autism spectrum. He has anxiety and sensory processing disorder (SPD). The list of foods he won’t eat or even try is long. No meat, poultry, fish, seafood. No chicken nuggets. No cheese of any kind. No pasta or any kind of noodle or rice. No pizza. No vegetables. My son eats bread products, dry cereal, chips, occasionally yogurt, and a few fruits. He will drink Carnation instant breakfast, and he loves Aunt Annie’s Pretzels. Even fruit is tricky.  Why do they call it seedless watermelon when it is filled with tiny white seeds? Let me tell you how hard it is to get every last seed out of a slice and not miss one. If I miss one and he either sees it or feels it in his mouth, he is done. Then watermelon is off the menu. I have had multiple conversations with his pediatrician, therapist, psychiatrist and occupational therapist.  He has been in feeding groups where there are 27 steps to be able to eat a food. It starts with being able to tolerate being in the same room as the food, a few steps to being able to have it on your plate, a few more steps to touch it, then hold to your mouth. Then a few more steps to taking a bite and spitting it out, to finally eating and swallowing the food. Some foods he made it only to step 3, others to step 20. The handful of foods where he made it all the way to step 27 (chewing and swallowing) have come and gone. My son food jags. He will find a food he can eat and then eat that food for a few weeks, months or if I’m lucky it might last a year.  Then out of nowhere he refuses to eat that food ever again and I’m left desperate to find something he will eat. Going out to eat can be challenging for us all. The noise, smell and sight of different food can be painful for my son. He doesn’t want to have a meltdown, but sometimes they happen. There have been times I can watch the anxiety come over him. I can see it in his face. He doesn’t want to be difficult. He doesn’t want anyone to notice his discomfort or the fact that he can’t order anything off the menu. So, if you’re behind me at McDonald’s, I am sorry my order is complicated. I don’t want to be the “high maintenance” customer. I would be ecstatic to be ordering a hamburger or chicken nuggets. I hope there will be a day he can order off the menu. But for now we are still just a plain bun, nothing but the bun. Image via Thinkstock.

Yusra Iftikhar

What I See When I Look at This Photo of Trevor Noah and Me

For my semester off from graduate school at NC State, I moved to Indiana to be with my family. I used to go back and visit North Carolina monthly, however, and without fail, would leave in tears every time. I would arrive at the airport with puffy eyes and a red nose and then search for privacy in crowded restrooms and terminals buzzing with travelers. I didn’t realize this until just this month, but I think this resulted into a fear of airports and planes. I’m not afraid of the actual process of flying, but my memories of airports and planes are riddled with arguments, sobbing, and deep breathing to prevent panic attacks that were just around the corner. I would call friends, watch funny videos, and read inspirational quotes on Pinterest to get me through the trip. I always arrived home feeling exhausted and empty. My parents would ask how the trip went, but I had already spent the day trying to detach myself from the details of the pain I had brought with me back to Indiana and never wanted to relive it with them. I’m still unable to shake the anxiety that comes with being in an airport. Understandably, it’s the worst when I’m traveling to or from North Carolina and when I am in an airport associated with those trips (Charlotte, Atlanta, Raleigh/Durham). For that reason, I begged my parents to let me drive to N.C. this time around. (Pause. Please ignore the fact that all of this appears so calm and dark. Yes, I met Trevor Noah, and yes, he is amazing and so nice and I’m shaking and sweating and can’t focus at all. All right, let’s continue). My parents were hesitant but agreeable — until I had a severe back spasm at work two weeks prior. Some pain and stiffness remains even now and for that reason, my parents were not willing to budge — if I was going to North Carolina, I was going by plane. Even worse, they asked me to get to the airport three to four hours early to avoid any potential issues, as I’ve never flown through Nashville alone. I will never argue with my parents again. I got to the airport three and a half hours early, as advised. I thanked the TSA officer at the beginning of security and moved into a line to have my things checked. In front of me I saw what looked like a familiar back of someone’s head. I had to know. So, I got closer to see if he had an accent. He did. The host of “The Daily Show” was less than a foot away from me and on the phone talking about Trump and China and Turkey, and I couldn’t believe this was real life. He put his phone down into the security bin, and I figured this would be my one chance to say hello before he continued his call. “Excuse me.” He whipped his head around and looked surprised. “I’m a huge fan and…” “Sir, you can come through now.” The security lady had blown my chance. He and I passed through security and retrieved our bags. He put his phone back to his ear and continued talking. (He’d put the phone through the security line without hanging up! It was awesome.) I figured that was it. He knew I had tried to say hello and did not turn around again, and I instantly felt badly for taking up any of his time. But then, he turned around and smiled a huge smile and waved. Trevor Noah waved at me. I was shocked. Again. At this point, there was no turning back. I was going to interrupt his phone call. And so I did. And asked for a picture. And he was so gracious. He handed me his phone while he took mine. We then went through about a minute of trying to get my phone to cooperate and for the love of God just stay on the camera app. There are a million things I wish I’d said during that time, but I’m just so grateful that he was patient and stuck with it. “Your phone is really adamant about joining this network.” I thanked Trevor (we’re on first name basis, of course), and he smiled and went on his way, once again continuing his conversation about whatever political mess I’ll be sad-laughing about tomorrow night as I watch his show. Then, I looked at the picture. I hate it. Now, I will say, Trevor is no supermodel in the picture either (sorry, T). We’re both staring directly into the sun thanks to the wall-sized window across from us. We haven’t moved from our spots in the security line, and others are no doubt trying to maneuver around us. It took us a while to get the camera to work, so I never really put much time into my smile. Yes, I often have to remind myself how to smile in pictures to avoid looking… well, too much like myself, I guess. I posted the picture on my Instagram page before I had the chance to second-guess myself. Because the second I looked at it, I started to make a mental list of my imperfections. My face looks larger in this picture than in so many others. I have a hat on and I was too worried about hat-hijab to take it off, so I turned my chin upward to keep the shadow off half my face — not my best angle. No makeup, tired eyes. Genuine smile, though. It’s kind of amazing. I’d been working a shift at the hospital that I wasn’t originally planning on being available for. It was my last patient before my lunch break. I could have just tried to come back to her later. I’d worked with the patient anyway. I didn’t bother to lift her bed to protect my back and had a terrible spasm as a result. I’d almost canceled the entire trip but understood I was coming for a friend, not for myself, and could not cancel. This led to booking a flight. That flight. Out of an airport three hours from my house. I’d felt insecure at the local mall and come to the airport hours early. I’d never been that early for a flight. I chose one security line and then changed my mind and went for another — even though it had more people. I think for weeks God had been setting me up to meet someone whose face greets me every night through my TV and brings me laughs on days good and bad. And yet, I choose to focus on the fact that I think I look “terrible” in the picture. I’ve looked at it quite a few times now and keep forgetting that Trevor Noah ( Trevor Noah) is even in it. All I can focus on is my face and how it could be different. Slimmer, brighter, whatever. I wish I could say this taught me some grand lesson about accepting yourself and focusing on the good things that are happening. Moments like these frustrate me because they could be so much more enjoyable if I do achieve recovery (I almost wrote that they would be more enjoyable if I were skinnier or worked out harder — I almost believe that too). But… I am going to try to see the blessing in this moment. Maybe this is to show me where I am in my recovery right now. Maybe this is a test to see how I react and if I can do so with patience. And then, the lesson will come. I have faith in that fact and I refuse to waver. “We’ll be right back.” 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 . Follow this journey on Ease & Honor. We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here .