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Archive for the ‘Hope’ Category

and I mean, ALWAYS. Never give up.

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The Dirty Laundry Project (DLP)

Dirty Laundry ProjectAt the DLP we celebrate, recognize & honor those whose actions are breaking the eating disorders & mental health “Stigma wall.”

Beating Eating Disorders (BED)

There is so much more to eating disorders than the way someone looks.
Eating disorders are a seBeating Eating Disordersrious mental illness. This disease affects millions of people all over, and has the highest mortality rate of mental illness. Often times, people with eating disorders are afraid of being judged due to the stigmatism and for that reason keep it a secret. Would you keep the diagnosis of cancer a secret? NO!!! This mental illness deserves the same kind of attention and respect as every other medical/mental diagnosis.

Eating Disorder Parent Support (EDPS)

Eating Disorder Parent SupportEating Disorder Parent Support (EDPS) is specifically and only for adults who care, or have cared for a loved one with an eating disorder. We are here for peer-to-peer sharing, support, education, guidance, encouragement, and to offer HOPE as we support our loved ones toward recovery. We welcome parents, spouses, and adult siblings, who are involved in the care; however, we are not a site or a support network for sufferers themselves.

Website: http://eatingdisorderparentsupport.weebly.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/EatingDisorderParentSupport.E/

International Eating Disorder Action (IEDAction)

International Eating Disorder ActionInternational Eating Disorder Action is a coalition of parents, carers, survivors, sufferers and others, established so that members can take ACTION on issues relating to Eating Disorders (EDs).   We have members in over 15 countries and address issues globally.

Our goals:  1) to increase awareness and knowledge of EDs as treatable, biological, brain-based illnesses that that are neither the fault of, or chosen by sufferers, nor caused by parents; 2) to advocate for national Eating Disorder strategies and treatment systems that use evidence-based services; 3) to demand legislation and funding parity; and 4) to address groups/companies overtly or inadvertently fuelling Eating Disorders by glamorizing them or profiting from them.

Website: http://iedaction.weebly.com/
Blog: http://internationaleatingdisorderadvocacy.blogspot.com.au/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/IEDAction/

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Hope you all had a lovely Christmas with your families and friends. Granted this time of year can be an utter minefield of surviving the family and meals – and that’s just those of us who are healthy! Whatever the day brought I hope you came through in one piece.

It’s update time on how my two are going – thanks for the reminders all. It has been quite a while since I did this. lol, just realised too how out of date my Tumblr profile was, so have updated that too.

Soph, despite the weight loss, is really good. My fears of her being perhaps compromised by the anorexic voice are so far unfounded. She eats widely and varied, flexible and with seemingly no barriers. Her weight loss comes from actually doing some activity instead of sitting in her room on her computer, 24/7, lol. Through all the refeeding, weight stabilisation and long term monitoring with no exercise her body hadn’t ‘repositioned’ the gained weight. Now it has. Normal activity, like walking, has put her right where her body needs to be and the ‘fluffy weight’ is now fully distributed. Her body stores would also be complete. What is now important is for her to not let go of the therapy net around her and continue to monitor and be vigilant about her health. She has a new psychologist for next year, who specialises in ED’s and is on the medicare funding – great for uni students. This combined with the normal uni counsellor (who focuses on Sophie’s personality and emotions) should help her through. LOL, though I think total breakdown towards the end of each semester is on the cards, with mum as first point of call.

Will, is ok. Look really don’t know what else to say. He is surviving and getting through each day. Has dropped out of school (read frustrated mama), but does have goals. As he said, “it still hurts and nothing has changed that way, but I do have goals now”. To me that is huge and maybe he will be alright. As for the new psychiatrist grrrr. Enough time to oversee medication, hand over a new script and ‘see you in two months time’. Oh and sorry this appointment is only for 1/2 hr. Only special asking will get you more time with me!! Seriously!

And there you have it. This last post of this year, compared to my others done at this time of year, is the most positive we have had. 🙂

Thank you to all for the emails of telling me your stories, of where you are, of what it means to live with the eating disorder in your life or your child’s life. Thank you for being part of my world and letting me share in a small part of yours. It is indeed a privilege. To all may the New Year bring you hope, may change happen in a positive way and there is movement forward. xx

Finding hope

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It’s been a really busy couple of weeks. I am part of a group called International Eating Disorders Action, and I have been talking with The Butterfly Foundation for changes to some of their content. It’s critical that people in the ‘industry’ of eating disorder education, hope and treatment get their information right. I have also been asked to be a part of the committee for NSW Service Plan for Eating Disorders. This scares me a bit as I don’t have a degree and don’t feel I have the health qualifications needed. I am hoping they will hear what I have to say and treat it with respect.

On top of that I was asked to write an inspirational post for the blog “Beautifully Broken“. That got me thinking. What’s inspirational? Is what was inspiration to me or us, the same for others? What’s the point of the story – you fully recovered, you achieved what exactly? We love inspirational stories – feel good, warm, fuzzy, got a success to it. The social media world will either love you or hate you, depending upon the vibe of the day and click rate.

A lot of media only want the click bait inspiration too. They want the low weight, the NG tube feed, the hair failing out, pictures of before and after. That’s not inspirational, that’s sensational. It not only doesn’t tell the real story behind, it only makes it today’s news and nothing to hold onto.

Do I cite the way I watched my daughter fall back into relapse and then painfully picked herself back up again (and again, and again …) and continued toward recovery? Do I write about the way her support team was constant, unchanging and had endless patience with her? What about how she is fully recovered? How her inner true person fought to be heard above the anorexia voice and won. My daughter or her story is not something to hold up to inspire others. It can bring hope but the reality of holding it up as inspirational, places burden on both the giver and the receiver. Don’t get caught up in another’s story.

Sometimes what is encouraging to us, just pushes someone else’s buttons. I have lost count of the times I have seen Jenny Schaefer hate posts, simply because the person is so stuck or sick with ED they cannot see any light ahead. What about if Sophie crashes back into relapse and really struggles, how is that ‘inspiring’ after just writing how inspiring it is she is fully recovered. What if you don’t have a great team to support you? If your alone, your mum doesn’t take notice and medical services are too far away and too expensive. How inspiring is your story if no one can relate or finds that what you experienced is ‘so not’ the reality for them.

Inspiration shouldn’t come from only outside of yourself. It needs to also come from within. What inspires you to take the next step, for you, by you. Not because someone else did it. Inspiring yourself means building bridges and digging yourself out when times are tough and you keep desperately struggling. The personal inner journey is what can strengthen and build you more than someone else’s journey. Many find the exploration of their spiritual life the inspiration and strength here. Recovery is about exploring all of yourself in all areas for growth, maturity and to strengthen yourself again relapse.

So what is my inspirational piece. Just this:

  • Recover for yourself, not for someone else.
  • Your story/journey is the most important not someone else’s.
  • To never, ever give up hope nor feel that recovery is not something you can achieve.
  • Recovery is personal to each person in their own way and ability.
  • Don’t compare yourself with anyone else.
  • Find inspiration in all places that you can relate to.
  • Surround yourself with people who support your recovery.
  • Find role models if need be, but remember you are not them.
  • Inspiration is not all good, happy thoughts – it can be painful, letting go thoughts. Learn to leave false guilt behind.

 

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This come courtesy from Weightless. It is good advice all round – regardless of what illness or pain we have in the household and how to cherish each other and our relationships.

Be someone's safe placeListen to your loved one without judging or criticizing them.

Listen without fiddling with your phone.

Listen without interrupting.

Be curious. Don’t jump to conclusions, and assume you know what they’re going to say or why they feel the way they feel. Ask open-ended questions.

Don’t bash others’ bodies or your own in front of your loved ones.

Don’t make negative comments about their body.

Don’t make comments about the calories in their food or how much they’re eating (e.g., “Wow, you can really put ‘em away!” “Are you sure you want that second helping?”)

Avoid saying “You’ve lost weight! You look great!” We never know why someone might’ve lost weight. They might’ve been terribly sick or stressed out. They might’ve just stopped a restrictive diet. They might have an unhealthy relationship with food. In other words, we just never know. It also makes people wonder, “did I look bad before?” Either way, it can be potentially upsetting or triggering for someone.

Respect their boundaries. Let them decline invitations they’re not interested in. Give them the space to say no to extra commitments. If they’re not ready to reveal what’s bothering them, try to respect that, too.

Hug them.

Hold their hand.

Tell them you love them.

Tell them why you love them.

If you feel comfortable, be vulnerable with them.

Keep their secrets secret.

If you find yourself getting angry, take a break. Take a breather. No one feels safe opening up to someone who’s boiling over and yelling.

Validate their feelings. Let them feel what they’re feeling. They’re not wrong, weak or selfish for having those feelings. Again, get curious.

Why are you feeling this way? What happened? Help me understand how you’re feeling.

Ask how you can help: What can I do for you? How can I help you with this? What do you need? Ask this regularly.

Ask them directly about safety and self-care: How do you feel safe? How can I help you to feel safe? To take kinder care of yourself? To feel the way you’d like to feel?

Of course, we may try our best to create a safe space for our loved ones, and we may mess up, because, well, we’re human. These are just suggestions and reminders that we can do many things to help others feel safe, too. When we inevitably make a mistake, we can be honest, we can apologize, and we can keep trying.

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recovery and anorexiaThe quote below comes from just one of the most amazing, loving, inspirational young women I have met in this journey.  Her hope in recovery and her inner spirit shine. Whilst she knows she is not there yet, she continues to fight back against the anorexia, encouraging others and shining a light for them. To ‘B’, I am blessed to have you and your mum as part of my life.

 

Each day I choose recovery; I choose to fight against the negative thoughts.
When anorexia says I shouldn’t eat, I choose to nourish myself.
When anorexia tells me I am fat, I tell anorexia it is wrong.
When anorexia tells me I shouldn’t leave the house, I go out and see friends to have some fun, or go and enjoy myself at work.
When anorexia tells me that others are judging me, I ignore anorexia and remind myself that even if others are judging me, that is their problem not mine.
When anorexia says I am weak, I scream at anorexia and tell it I am strong.
When anorexia tells me I am a failure for regaining my life, I tell anorexia to shut up, because I deserve to live freely and I will be free.
Even on my worst days I know that relapse is not an option, and it is not worth it. I am looking forward to the day when anorexia no longer lives inside my head.
Recovery is possible; I have seen it. I am not yet recovered, but I know I am well on my way.
Choosing recovery

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This month we have been talking about staying positive. I think we can all agree staying positive is a fantastic outlook to have on life, but it isn’t always an easy thing to do. I want to talk about how staying positive gets easier with practice.

Staying positive isn’t always easy. Sure, when things are going well and life is good, it is easy to have a positive outlook on the future. It isn’t nearly as easy when things stop going according to plan. It is easy to fall into the trap of asking why, or thinking things will never go right for you. Staying positive in these situations is where it really takes practice and hard work. Scott G - the more we stay positive

Staying positive gets easier the longer we do it. At first, it can be hard to be positive when everything seems to be going wrong. For myself at least, I tend to question why this is happening to me or why can’t it be different rather than focusing on what is good about the situation or how I can learn from it.

As we force ourselves to look at the positive side of even the toughest situation, the little things begin to cause less and less stress. Positivity becomes a natural response to hardship.

I have seen this happen in my own life. I used to become easily frustrated when things didn’t go according to plan. And being frustrated makes it even harder to turn the tide and make things start to go in your favour.

During my recovery, I was taught the importance of looking at the positive aspects of everything. For example, there were definitely weeks where for I slipped up a few times with snacks, but was able to challenge myself with the dinners. I learned that rather than dwelling on being imperfect in my recovery, I needed to focus on the accomplishments of the week. I learned to take the progress I made with dinners and keep the momentum going to work on snacks in future weeks. This positive momentum continues to increase, and it becomes much easier to take positive steps in recovery rather than getting caught up on the aspects I haven’t done well on.

I am sure most of you can attest to this, because we have all had struggles, whether it is an eating disorder, anxiety, depression, financial stress, etc.

For those of you who are in the middle of a hard time right now, believe me, I know it is hard to stay positive. I want to encourage you to keep at it, though, because staying positive through whatever it is you are going through right now will make this challenge and future struggles far easier to overcome.

I’ve heard the quote from Friedrich Nietzsche thousands of times “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” I always thought it was a bit cliché, but  it really is true. The more we stay positive through hard times, the easier and more natural positivity becomes. I hope you will remember this, and know even though it may be hard to think of the positives now, it will help you get through what you are going through, and will even help you in future struggles.

http://www.liberonetwork.com/staying-positive-gets-easier

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