By Nicki Wilson, F.E.A.S.T. Vice Chair
“Your daughter is far too sensible to have an eating disorder,” proclaimed a well-meaning friend.
“She’s fine, it’s normal for teenage girls to want to lose weight, you are the one with the problem. I’ve asked her to come back and see me, on her own, in six weeks,” advised the first GP I had managed to convince my daughter to visit.
“Bring her to me, I’ll get her to eat, she loves my food,” claimed a close family member when told of the diagnosis.
“Are you still being naughty?” the nurse at the practice asked my daughter at her regular weigh in.
These are just some of the unhelpful and damaging things that were said when our brave, yet terrified 16 year old was hanging on to life – just.
These people were truly only trying to be helpful, not cause us harm. But at the time, these things were all difficult to hear, because we were desperately trying to save our daughter. We were bewildered, frightened, and directionless.
Does this sound familiar? Those of you supporting a loved one to recover from an eating disorder may also have suddenly found yourselves inhabiting a seemingly new hostile land of confusing and conflicting messages, with secrecy and mistrust prevailing, unfamiliar and unexplained customs and a foggy unclear outlook – is this the way forward? Oh no, we’re back where we started! Or even – it seems we’re sliding ….
We were lost; and yes, we were going backwards. Truly no-one seemed to be able to help and nothing seemed to be working – we needed hope, we needed information, we needed clarity….and then I found F.E.A.S.T.
F.E.A.S.T. provided the hope, the support and the information about evidence based treatment that took me from wanting to believe that recovery would be possible, to THE KNOWLEDGE: RECOVERY IS POSSIBLE AND I WILL NEVER GIVE UP.
With the endless support and up to date information and knowledge F.E.A.S.T. provided, I was quickly equipped and empowered to provide the care my daughter needed to not only start, but to stay on the path to gain back the wonderful life she so deserves.
I urge you to take the time to attend the amazing F.E.A.S.T. of Knowledge conference on 14 June (Australia/NZ time) this year. The event is online, so where ever you are in the world you can tune in and learn from top researchers and clinicians about the latest in knowledge and treatment of eating disorders. Parents, family members and supporters in the F.E.A.S.T. community will also be there to tell their stories of hope and offer help and advice.
I cannot recommend F.E.A.S.T. of Knowledge highly enough, please register – Knowledge is power!