National Eating Disorders Association

A few months ago, my 19-year old happy, healthy, anorexia-free son handed me a “thank you” card. Inside, Ben had written that his eating disorder had been “a struggle fought together not against each other”. He wrote that I was “a shining example to the world that love can overcome anything” and that “we would not be here today in such a state of contentment” if it had not been for my “sheer strength of willpower and motherly love”. Finally he thanked me “for being the one that never gave up”.

Well, the floodgates opened and I wept buckets!

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Recovery from an eating disorder can be like learning to ride a bicycle – at first, it is wobbly, dangerous, and difficult. Taking both feet off the ground and pushing on the pedals in a bid to move forward is plain scary. Time and repeated efforts are necessary to develop a sense of trust and balance. Only when we achieve this do we start to feel safe and secure; slowly we feel confident enough to start looking around, engaging in life, and accelerate our progress.

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Itʼs been a year since my sister Anne succumbed to the anorexia that plagued her life, off and on for nearly 25 years. Iʼve learned a lot about her illness and why she suffered from it for so long. I share my story to reach out to others who have a loved one struggling, or may be concerned about someone in their life, to encourage them to become as educated as possible and be an advocate for awareness about the seriousness of these potentially life-threatening illnesses.

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