People who are battling eating disorders don’t always share what’s on their mind — even with the people they care about most. It can be hard to talk about an eating disorder and the emotions behind it. From our work at our eating disorder treatment center in California, we know that there are a number of things that people would love to say to their family and friends to help them understand what they’re going through.
Just So You Know…
Below are some of the statements the people that we work with wish they could make to their loved ones:
- “My condition isn’t a choice. I would never choose to hurt you or myself this way.”
- “This isn’t your fault. It’s an illness, and nothing you’ve said or done is directly responsible for it.”
- “Eating disorders are complex illnesses. Recovery is not just about getting back to an appropriate weight. It involves changing my perspective on many things.”
- “Much of my battle with my eating disorder takes place in my head. Even if I seem to be fine, that’s not always the case. I’ve gotten good at disguising my feelings.”
- “There are lots of resources available on eating disorders. I’d love it if you read up on mine so you could understand it better. If you’re ever facing a major health challenge, I’ll do the same.”
- “Your praise for me winning even the smallest of battles with food means a lot to me. I don’t always express it, but please know how important and how encouraging it is.”
- “One of the scariest things to me about my illness is how sad, depressed, and hopeless it makes me feel at times. I don’t enjoy being in my ‘dark place,’ but sometimes I just can’t find my way out. I’m sorry if that worries you and makes you sad, too.”
- “I know you can’t heal me, and I don’t expect you to come up solutions to all the thoughts that keep me trapped in this illness. Just being there for me is hugely helpful.”
Enabling Constructive Dialogue
One of the most important things people suffering from an eating disorder get from working with an eating disorder treatment center in California like ours is help communicating more effectively with their friends and family. Both sharing and listening are skills that not many of us have mastered, but focusing on them can make all the difference in eating disorder recovery. To learn about our programs, call 916-784-1120.