One of the major obstacles I encountered along this journey was overcoming my fear of fear.
My fear of the eating disorder.
My fear of losing control of this situation.
My fear of facing the eating disorder’s wrath.
My fear of my daughter’s next move.
Sometimes it’s just easier to appease the eating disorder, isn’t it? It brings our kids’ stress levels down (because the eating disorder is happy); it brings your own stress levels down because you don’t have to deal with the anger. We don’t have to assert ourselves in a challenging situation against the eating disorder.
However, this is the fastest and easiest way to get stuck running on the spot, going nowhere fast. By never challenging the eating disorder, we remain stuck in its grip.
Overcoming the fear was hard. I faced a situation at home that got so frightening that even my husband got scared to move the process along. I had to pep talk us both through it. I actually think I barked instructions at him, and he trusted me enough to follow.
I used two very simple life enhancing words that became my mantra: “Do it”. I said that mantra over and over again.
“Do it…it’s not going to get harder than this.”
“Do it…I have no choice but to face this.”
“Do it…I have nothing to lose but everything to gain.”
Those two words empowered me so much that I could then summon up the courage to jump into the abyss, and what a terrifying abyss it is. Is this what bungee jumping feels like?
I was reminded of these dark times not that long ago when, looking at my arm, I could still see the faint outline of the bite mark my D12 gave me 8 months previous. On that particularly bad re feeding day she moved to bite my hand, trying to bite the skin off. I am unsure how I kept calm that day, but I had decided that her eating disorder would not break me. Unbelievably my daughter was happy to sink her teeth into me, but not her food.
My body retains the faint scars of these terrible battles; however, had I not done it, we would be 10 steps behind, running on the spot, getting nowhere fast. So, I want to talk to you…
The person who has had enough of it all.
The person who has woken up today to the same old eating disorder battles.
The person who can’t see a way out.
The person stuck running on the spot.
The person who has lost their courage.
I can’t tell you what you should or shouldn’t do, or how you should do it. We need to feel our own way in the dark and you need to find the right path for you. However, what worked for us may work for you, and that’s letting go of your fear. Guaranteed, it’s the one thing that holds us all back and prevents us from moving forward.
If you have to give yourself a mantra to get through a tricky situation, repeat your mantra. You all know what mine is: “Do it!”
Let go of that fear. Stop imagining worst case scenarios and just crack on baby step by baby step until you’re out this. If you need help getting through this difficult time, talk to someone and let it out, it’s cathartic to speak about things. Also, if you’ve been waiting to do something or introduce something to your child’s eating disorder, but your fear has held you back, then just do it. Say “Do it” and act today. Let’s get you moving again, out of this rut and into freedom, and away from ED.