Every parent wants to provide the best environment for their child, where they could develop a healthy attitude to themselves and their food, which will become part of their everyday life. This is a very important aspect of raising a child, and we all know that we only get one chance. One chance to do it right or to completely miss the mark. This doesn’t mean we didn’t try – simply put, there is no encyclopedia with advice on how to raise a child perfectly. And so, with this one chance, while years are racing by, we make one small mistake, which we don’t even notice or become aware of, and our child develops an eating disorder. I would like to emphasise here that parents are not to blame. It’s just an unfortunate set of circumstances, something that happened because it was supposed to happen.
I am talking from the perspective of a child, just so you know. I am not a parent, but I want to be a parent one day. However, I was a child, and one that struggled with anorexia for nine years. I had my parents on my side during this time, and together we wrote a book that captures everyone’s perspective on anorexia. A family that struggled with this disorder for nine years probably has something to say… And how would we now explain, in one paragraph, what anorexia represents for us? We would all agree that it seems as if you’re stuck in a single point in time that just drags on in eternity. With anorexia, you’re no longer running through life, constantly rushing towards your goals. Anorexia robs you of any life and binds you.
I can say that I was no longer capable of looking towards the future. My only goal was to be even skinnier. However, being skinnier is not a true long-term goal, so you are essentially chasing it forever. You get up, you work out, you starve, weigh yourself, watching, and hope to fall asleep in the evening to do it all over again in the morning. At night, you toss and turn, trying to make sure no-one hears you crying. You yearn for a normal life, choked by the feeling of helplessness because you can’t live a normal existence. And then all the people distance themselves from you, exacerbating this feeling that you really don’t belong in this world.
Even my parents – who today look back on these events with a slight positive note, knowing that we did manage to beat anorexia forever – can tell you that their lives stopped. They stopped dead on the spot, a point in time when they had to save their own daughter. Everything else didn’t matter.
And what was this single point of existence like? It was the worst thing you can possibly imagine. In a way, I didn’t want to find a way out of my routine, even though my parents were forcing me, knowing that I would otherwise die of starvation. So it was a mix of visits to doctors and psychiatrists, dwelling on food, cooking various meals, forcing myself to eat, exercise, crying, and me protesting against any change whatsoever! And this chaos led to not one of us having any joy in our lives.
It was obvious, however, that we were not about to give up. And that was the best decision! What we experienced during my struggle with anorexia, the things I had to face, how others looked on the whole situation, how I managed to beat it… I will describe all this in upcoming posts, so let’s call it for today.
Until next time, have a nice day!