National Eating Disorders Association

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How Can I help my family before I go to Residentail for thirty days?

I posted this in another forum as well, but thought it would be good to ask here too:

I am 31 years old and have suffered from an eating disorder for ten years and Anorexia Nervosa for two. I am going to a 30 day residential program at a treatment center. I am quite underweight and am having heart problems, yet cant bring myself to eat more or stop the stupid cardio, so going to treatment is truly a matter of saving my life.

I have an amazing husband who I have been with for twelve years and married for nine, a 4 year old son and a 2 year old daughter. I am more than motivated and ready to fully recover. I have never done anything even CLOSE to this "selfish" in my life and I am so so so so so worried for my loved ones. My kids and husband and I have great family around us. I am so blessed.

I just worry worry worry, esp. for my husband. He works swing/nights and I have made his meals and packed his lunch almost everyday for four years. And now this burden? It helps that my husband is 100% on board with this and has been my biggest support and encourage.

So I guess I just wanted some advice on how to make this as easy on my family as possible. I am planning on cooking up some freezer meals and doing some food prep/convenience shopping before I go which will ease one worry.

What would have helped you for your significant other to do before they left?
If you were the spouse/family member, what helped you while your significant other/family member was away?
Etc, Etc.

Thanks in advance for the help, and I hope its okay to cross-post this.


Hey Jessica,

You know, I think the one thing that reassures loved ones the most would be you telling them that you're going to try your best to make the most out of the time that you're gone. Sure they may have to make their own meals and stuff like that, but that's not really their biggest concern. Mostly they want to know that you are going to do the best that you can in treatment.

Because if they are wise, they understand what a challenge it might be, and how a person has to be willing to take risks, you know ?

So letting them know that you understand that it will be challenging, and yet you'll do your best to take those risks, I think that's the one thing that will reassure them the most. xx

Bob J.

Hi jessicaenck.

Hi jessicaenck.
Welcome to the forums.
You're in good company here just as you may very well find yourself shortly in treatment.
A lot of what Bob said makes sense. I'm sure your family is a bit less concerned with having to pack their own lunches and more so about your own health. Do you think you could find it in yourself to emulate that concern?
You said it yourself that this is a matter of life and death. With that being the case, going into a treatment center certainly isn't "selfish" at all. In fact, one might say that staying and denying your health would be selfish because that would just compromise you down the line and if you can't function properly than you can't help your family right?
I'm certainly no mental health professional but I'd said that doing things for yourself, especially things that could not only improve your life but potentially save it, is not at all a selfish thing to do.

And the best way that you can prepare them that I can think of, is to assure them that you are going to do your best to take care of yourself and work towards recovery during your stay.

I hope that helped some. And if not you can always chat with a NEDA volunteer whenever you please:

It did help, thank you SO SO

It did help, thank you SO SO SO much. I am not going to take ONE SECOND of this opportunity for granted. I never in a million years thought I would get the kind of treatment I am getting..... its an insane blessing and many would kill to be in my shoes. And you are 100% right.... every second away from them will be put to where it needs to be: my health and recovery. Thank you for the reassurance.

I'm sure I can't say too much

I'm sure I can't say too much too help but I just wanted to say how brave I think you are. I know if my spouse agreed to treatment like this I wouldn't expect anything other than he went and took care of himself.

I can't imagine how you'll miss you're family and worry - but it's 30 days out of your whole life ahead of you.
Your husband may not make as good of meals as you do but he will do it and be ok ;)

Best wishes