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Dealing with an ED sucks. It’s the hardest thing you may ever have to go through besides maybe cancer. Your child or friend or maybe its a parent have a little voice in their head telling them they are worthless, that they have no right to hold space on this earth. Not eating or purging is helping them to cope with the stress and anxiety that they feel. OCD is often very present along with other comorbidities. It’s a heck of a lot of fun. If you are lucky, you get health insurance to help cover some of the costs and then you still have the grocery shopping, cooking, driving and planning that is just about a constant job for however long it is going to take. In my case it’s my daughter and I am really hurting for her right now. The only thing I know to do is to keep going. I think it must be like alcoholism or drug addiction or any other behaviour that is harmful but giving a temporary feeling of control and relaxation. One day is good, one day is awful, like bipolar.
I hope I am dealing with burst extinction phase of ED right now. My daughter has been in a great mood lately, eating well and wanting to beat this. The last few days have been awful. She is moody, complaining about the quantity of food she has to eat, unhappy at work and at school, crying. A mother wants to care and comfort their child, but instead I have to listen, be compassionate, but ultimately make sure food is going in and not listening to how I am making her life miserable and how she has no boundaries, she is a victim and so on. Just keep feeding her and listening, that is all I can really do and hope that she doesn’t decide to end her life. I want to run home myself after our lunch together and open a bottle of wine to sooth my own pain and stress. Am I doing the right thing? The answer is yes, of course. No time for wine, time for making another meal and cleaning up the kitchen again. Time for budgeting for food and time for working your schedule around lunches and doctors appointments. I want time to be free. I want time to walk on the beach and not worry about when I have to make another meal. I want to go on a mountain bike ride in the woods and follow that beautiful single track through the trees, but I will worry about how I am going to pay for the next trip to the grocery store. I will keep going just like the time I crashed 23K into a race. Wind knocked out of me, handle bars bent and no one around. Mud and rain chilling my skin, yet after my own tears, my own attempt to give up, I get up, take a deep breath, twist the handle bars back to straight and get on my bike. No one is here to help me, I have to keep going. It’s up to me and that is how I feel right now. It’s up to me to help my child as much as I can. Where and when do we build up the resilience to to keep going despite all odds against us? I can only hope that somewhere in all of this my daughter is learning right now, that she will go so far, get too deep and wake up and realize she has to pull herself up. I hope to give her the tools to cope with the depression and anxiety so that she can learn her own balance. She has to survive and in her finding herself and making her way I also find myself and start creating my own boundaries. I have to survive too. I will bundle her up in my arms and together we will hold on and cross the damn finish line, our legs tied together in this three legged race, working together and fighting for the next chance to have fun and be happy and succeed.