Today is my precious momma’s birthday. During my six year struggle with an eating disorder, my relationship with my mom was so strained, she had to go through things no parent should have to go through. I am beyond thankful that my mom is now my biggest cheerleader and best friend. In honor of her birthday, I wanted to write a letter to all of the mothers who have children struggling with an eating disorder.
Dear warrior moms,
I see you. I see that you are hurting, broken and tired. I see that you are trying anything and everything you can right now to save your child. Keep fighting. Your child may not be able to fight for themselves right now, so fight for them.
Listen to me say this: This is not your fault. This. Is. Not. Your. Fault. You did not cause your child’s eating disorder. In my case, it was just the perfect storm, but not a storm that my mom created, nor one my dad created. It just happened.
Your momma’s intuition is almost always spot on. Every time I would approach my mom to tell her I was struggling yet again, fearful of her reaction, she almost always responded with, “I know.” She sometimes could tell I was struggling even before I could. Listen to your intuition, you know your child better than anyone.
The best thing you can do for your child is love them unconditionally. I know I took my anger out on my mom. I yelled, I screamed, I said hateful things, I lied, I cussed her out, because end of day, I knew she wouldn’t leave me, and she didn’t. Instead of leaving, she loved me.
Being a mother of a child with an eating disorder is a club that no one wants to be a part of. Be sure to set time aside to take care of yourself and your needs. You can’t pour from an empty cup.
You can’t “fix” your child, but you can love them. You can be their shoulder to cry on. You can be their cheerleader. You can sit with them in the pain. If I can tell you one thing it would be this, don’t ever give up, recovery is possible. I never thought it was, and I know my parents never thought recovery was possible either, but two and half years later and my purpose in life is now spreading the hope that recovery is possible. Hold onto that hope forever.
A daughter of the best mom in the world
Amy Sullivan is the Program Director for Southern Smash, but more importantly is proudly in recovery from an eating disorder. She is currently in grad school to become a counselor. Amy is a dog mom to the worst behaved dog in the world, and an aunt to the most adorable little girl.