by Judy Krasna
As the Executive Director, I know that I am biased about F.E.A.S.T., but I think that we are a remarkable organization. I have been spending a lot of time monitoring F.E.A.S.T.’s Around the Dinner Table Forums and Parent Support Lines, examining how we answer parents who need help navigating the challenges of their child’s eating disorder. What I am seeing is an extraordinary collection of wisdom, resources, knowledge, information, compassion, and kindness.
“We’re here because we’ve been there” is the perfect tagline for F.E.A.S.T. We have experienced the early stages of our child’s eating disorder, when parenting became somewhat counterintuitive and incredibly frightening. We have been in the situation where we know that making the right choice for our child’s treatment is critical, but we don’t know what the right choice is. We have endured the abuse of our child’s eating disorder and gained both understanding of why our child acts this way and also skills that empower us to help both our child and ourselves. We have been frustrated by the lack of knowledge of those who should know more about eating disorders. We have learned what disables an eating disorder and what enables it. We have had to find our own way in this scary situation, and have felt more alone because of it. We have learned that recovery is not linear, that bad days often follow good ones, that behavioral and mental improvement may be slow to follow weight gain, and that treatment needs to be evidence based. The amount of collective knowledge that we have acquired through our experience is massive.
At F.E.A.S.T., what fuels us is the intense passion to share this knowledge and experience for the purpose of helping others, to try and make sure, to whatever degree we can, that their family’s outcome is a positive one.
We invest in one another; and in doing so, we build a beautiful, significant, and impactful community that we can, and should, be proud of.
Parents who have clawed their way out of the eating disorders abyss and reached safer ground are more than entitled to walk away and not look back. However, at F.E.A.S.T., we choose to go back to the edge of the abyss and pull other families out. We’re here because we’ve been there. We know what they are going through, and we want to help. We tell them how we got out, so they can use our narrative as a guide. We empower them to help themselves by throwing down tools that will aid them in climbing out of danger. We cheer them on from up top, and guide them to avoid pitfalls and slippery areas where they can fall. We extend our hands, and ourselves, to rescue others. When they reach safe ground, it is a win for all of us.
We at F.E.A.S.T. are offering 24/7 rescue services to families who need help gaining traction so they can climb to safe ground. Spend some time going through the information and resources on our website. Register for our FIRST30Days educational service. Join our parent forums. Reach out to our parent support channels. Please help sustain us if you can, so we can continue to help families across the world reach safe ground and guide their children toward recovery.