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It’s a day filled with LOVE–
Voltaire wrote: Love is a canvas furnished by Nature and embroidered by imagination which is such an eloquent phrase, and so affecting to me having a daughter who is courageously challenging her anorexia- and winning back (embroidering) her true self each day.
Those of us with a child, family member, and/or friend who are suffering with an eating disorder know we have to be both Head & Heart for our loved ones; it’s a duality that few seem to have the discernment and wisdom to forewarn us about on this journey to wholeness and health. Most in the medical community still keep us at arms-length when it comes to offering up the most humane, balanced and adequately researched strategies to implement within supporting our loved ones that emphasize such an expanded “imagination” or creativity that not only empowers the sufferer, but works towards healing the entire family/support network of the sufferer- metaphorically this would require the most sophisticated embroidery needle and elevated imagination that can stitch a warm, comforting Love quilt for anyone to find shelter, solace, comfort and wisdom (and most likely made with fleece).
I also think it’s imperative, absolutely crucial to Love thyself unconditionally, and that dear friends, includes the parents, the extended family members, friends, etc.- your entire collective clan, blood-linked and other surrogate compassionate souls- Tending & Befriending– embracing life as it stands, even making peace with pain, uncertainty and discomfort; all of which we most certainly are no stranger to.
So on this Valentine’s Day I wish for all of you to embrace yourselves, your loved ones with the deepest sense of honor, open-heartedness, self-acceptance and Love–
“You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your
love and affection.”
Some reviews have been posted for Victoria Zackheim’s new anthology For Keeps: Women Tell the Truth About Their Bodies, Growing Older and Acceptance worth taking a look at as well and reading her latest work.
Words and our collective voices have the power to heal. Of course that task is not so straight forward in ED recovery of our children, but they too need to find their way back to their true Selves pre/post-ED; get beyond the entrenched self-loathing, negative self-talk perpetuated by malnutrition and rigid/ritualized behaviors. And through regaining their health, with continued love and support, they begin to slowly find their own sense of strength, determination, self-acceptance and healing.
Zackheim’s collection of essays is especially meaningful for mothers and daughters, reconnecting to one another and finding joy vs abhorrence through our stages of Life and change, which society and our culture still seem hellbent on perpetuating unrealistic ideals.
Parents need to maintain a sense of themselves, separate through their child’s recovery from an eating disorder. They need to take time for themselves, self-care/self-love, and for one another, as a family with other siblings, and within a marriage, relationship. It’s important to find others who support and comfort you through your child’s illness, and other parents who share your struggle are absolutely invaluable in helping one another which culminates its own collective of powerful and healing stories.