For the past couple of days, my mom has been around the house more than usual. Normally, she spends the week working as a dictatorial manager down in the “Windy City” and then returns home on the weekends, bringing her despotic rule with her. But instead of just having to live with her tyranny for an oppressive 48 hours, we have been forced to deal with it for a full week. It’s not what I would consider enjoyable . . .
But her authoritarian demeanor has not been the worst part of her stay here at home. It has been the fact that she lacks any faith in me and my recovery. For the past couple of days I have been working harder to push my ED out of my mind (I am mostly doing this because my parents seem to be disappointed with my relatively slow recovery progress). I have been shoving more food in my mouth and I even went out to eat with my dad and sister. My dad has congratulated me on all these feats and I actually think he believes in me. My mom on the other hand, doesn’t seem to have a single ounce of happiness for these grand victories of mine. Instead she has been pointing out every single damn thing I haven’t done. Whether it be my inability to consume desserts or my reluctance to eat meals with my dysfunctional family, she will point out everything.
I don’t think she realizes that whenever she does that, she might as well be stabbing a butcher knife through my heart. She has not even the slightest idea that every time I challenge Ed, no matter how minuscule the challenge may seem to her, it is a tremendous triumph for me! I guess all I want from her is to hear 5 simple words come out of her mouth – “I am proud of you”.
If you have a loved one, whether it be your child or just a close relative, that is struggling with an eating disorder, PLEASE try to notice every little positive step they make and congratulate them for it. Those tiny words of encouragement mean the world to a person who is fighting ED and it may just give them the strength to keep winning their battle.