F.E.A.S.T's Around The Dinner Table forum

Welcome to F.E.A.S.T's Around The Dinner Table forum. This is a free service provided for parents of those suffering from eating disorders. It is moderated by kind, experienced, parent caregivers trained to guide you in how to use the forum and how to find resources to help you support your family member. This forum is for parents of patients with all eating disorder diagnoses, all ages, around the world.

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With holidays upon us, my FEAST community has been on my mind.  It can seem impossible to believe anyone that implies life will again seem O.K. and that I will not feel the despair as soon as I open my eyes in the morning and remember.  Remember  that my child has an eating disorder.  I thought I'd re-share a post of mine from earlier this year.....

Long before my daughter developed an eating disorder she made me a plaque in her ceramics class. It was a favorite quote of mine "We can only lose that which we cling to". I have had to look at that message - so simple yet so difficult to heed.

There is a saying meant for those of us who find ourselves suddenly living in a world upended by a personal tragedy....."Life does not stop for your grief." Thank goodness! After being dealt a cruel hand of fate life does not provide a vacuum for you to exist in. It never does, and it's a truth that comes as a shock to anyone experiencing such an event. Rather, life goes on, within us and without us. The dark shadows of grief may get smudged a bit by the silly antics of our pets. Birthdays arrive one by one, and Christmas promises to loom. Eventually, you realize you are unable to hold your breath forever.  

Most of us will yearn for a return to the familiar. On the other hand, it can seem too painful to do things that are from "before". We grieve the loss of what we had, that which was yanked away from us in such a cruel fashion. I have been taught by our experience that with an open heart it really is possible to move on. Each of us has the ability to heal. I am humbled by the kindness extended to us that helped us to do so. It took hard work, loyal friends and the love of our family. Life doesn't come without it's harsh moments. But, it will never exclude the joyful noise either. There will be a shift, and your shoulders will stop aching. Those of you gripped by fear and despair don't have to believe me. You only need to put one foot in front of the other, if that's all you are capable of.  

The desire for a good life has propelled our girl forward. We began collecting small victories. I liken the small mundane tasks of daily life we were asked to perform, to the wooden blocks stored in our toy closet. When these building blocks were stacked together, they began to make life's ordinary moments the heroes of our story. A tragedy does change us, but it doesn't have to define us. At the worst of times you may feel like I did, the isolation as I became unable to relate to those around me. The world at large had the nerve to still throw silly moments my way, that in the past would have caused me to laugh. It felt alarming to be expected to turn my attention to activities others in my life were still engaged in. How could I turn my thoughts to others when I was using every bit of my waking hours to learning about eating disorders?! Despite fear that you'll never smile again, a mishap or foible will catch you off guard and laughter will escape from your clenched mouth. To the rescue life will send it's troops in to bring about your new normal, one moment at a time. Ordinary drudgery, routines, expectations, historical events, milestones, missing teeth and school plays. These moments insist on intruding not to be cruel, but to remind us life can still be good. As Charles Dickens so accurately stated in Tale of Two Cities, "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times". Humbled am I by the courage and grace my daughter showed while crossing her bridge of sorrow.  

Don't get too stuck allowing yourself to think life pre-diagnosis is the only one you can accept to provide you parental heart peace and happiness. I'm here to tell you you can fight this disorder and bring about a sense of wellness that will allow you to say "we're O.K.!" The most powerful tool for us was realizing that we had to fight shoulder to shoulder. Remember, without weight restoration you are building a castle on quicksand. Keep your focus narrow until you reach physical healing - we didn't perceive a true shift in the psychological healing until months after weight restoration. Today we have a healthy daughter, who is happy, has a boyfriend, graduated university on time, landed her first post graduate job and on occasion allows herself treats and special event meals. She uses the Kartini meal plan most of the time, because it is an incredibly versatile, delicious, healthy way to live.  


A mother here to learn..... 
D diagnosed/hospitalized for 2 weeks January 2013 --Accepted as a patient at Kartini Clinic--IOP for 12 weeks--Currently continues OP at Kartini. WR June of 2013--Our daughter embraces recovery and is reclaiming her life with wins large and small!

A mother here to learn.....
D diagnosed/hospitalized for 2 weeks January 2013 --Accepted as a patient at Kartini Clinic--IOP for 12 weeks--Discharged from Kartini summer of 2014. WR June of 2013--Our daughter embraces recovery and is reclaiming her life with wins large and small!
I love this, thanks for sharing [smile]
Son 9yrs when he became unwell 2013, ED slide from April 2014, dx at 10yrs July 2014, 2 hospitalisations - dx so many times Behavioural Anorexia, EDNOS, ARFID. FBT from August 2014. Anxiety, Emetophobia. 13.5yrs old now! In recovery, gets better every day with constant vigilance, life returns.
Wonderful post thank you for sharing. I needed this.
Son diagnosed @ 12.5 yrs old with Severe RAN 2/11. Co-morbids - anxiety, Active restriction for 3 months. He stopped eating completely 2x. He needed immediate, aggressive treatment from a provider who specialized in eating disorders, adolescents and males. We got that at Kartini Clinic. WR since 5/11. 2017 getting ready to graduate slipping lost 8lbs. Fighting our way back.
Wise words to remind us our perspective will change over time, thank you for that little ray of sunshine [smile]   and very nicely written ! 
Mother of 20 y.o. male diagnosed at age 16 with RAN, exercise compulsion, anxiety, depression & SH, FBT 4-5 mths to WR, WR now 3 yrs; suicide attempt 4-6 wks after WR,  IP 4 weeks.  Steady progressive recovery over past 3 years including support from psychologist on general wellbeing. Slow steady steps to success!! 

When your last bow is broken and your last arrow spent, then shoot, shoot with your whole heart
 [Zen saying}