The ED redux.
I wrote this post last week that seemed to strike a chord with a lot of ‘people’. Frankly, I was a little surprised. Maybe because I live this. There are a lot of us that do.
And, I mentioned this to someone– my surprise– and she said: Well, no pun intended, this just shows how people are starving for information. Understanding. What do you do? What do you say?
What do you say to someone you care about and who seems to be struggling to nourish themselves appropriately?
The ‘answer’ (HA!) is something. Say anything. Talk about the weather. Talk about what’s funny with you. Say that you care and it “seems like it’s been rough lately…” Be a humane being. You won’t get it ‘right.‘ And, that’s okay. You’ll be there.
Or, even better– try listening. And, remember, IT’S NOT ABOUT THE FOOD. So, don’t lead with it. (Even though it might a glaring symptom which WILL need to be addressed and tended to.) Also, don’t mention the body for that matter. Both of these subjects are volatile terrain– loaded with walls, bombs, resistance and ego. So, unless you’ve been specifically directed by someone to consult about these things, starting with “how are you?” (or NAMBLA even!) is infinitely better.
Now for the hard truth. It’s not up to you. It’s up to them. It is up to an individual to recognize they need help, to ask for help, and to be willing to receive help.
Reality: There is not actually that much you can do besides support. Notice. And, ask what is needed or how you might help a person.
And, please, try not make it your problem…
Because it’s not your problem.
I’m sorry about this. I know you care. I know it affects you SO much. And, I know many of you hurt with us…
But, again, here’s the sad truth of an eating disorder. There is not that much you can do. Not when we are hoping for long-term, real-life recovery. (That’s the GOOD kind :)!) For long-term recovery, a symptomatic person is going to have to want it to. And, commit to a different way of seeing. Until this has happened, there is not much you can effectively do– a person has to feel ready. In the interim, just let a person know you are here.
And remember, there are a lot of us who may be at any point in this process. We are your mothers, daughters, sisters, brothers, teachers, friends, strangers. Maybe you’ve said something. Maybe we have not. Not all of us are visible. That’s a BIG lie. (And, eating disorder 101.)
A person is always sick enough to deserve to get better.
Sadly, only 1 out of 10 people struggling with eating disorder will receive treatment (Source)…
Even if they (or you) don’t always ‘say’ it.
With love and some stuff to say ;).