Welcome back to the series on eating disorders. A wonderful girl named Gabriela Nadeau approached me and asked me if she could share her story. She is a great advocate for those with mental illness, particularly girls with eating disorders. She is currently in the process of recovering from EDNOS, which means eating disorder not otherwise specified, an eating disorder that does not meet the criteria for: anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, or binge eating. She wants to create an outlet for girls like her and clear any misunderstandings about what they go through. If you are someone with an eating disorder and want to talk to Gabriela, you can contact her on Instagram at @gabrielanadeau. This week’s blog is all about the need for a support system and what it’s like when your parents don’t understand what you are going through. Let me know what you think!
I know my parents love me. I’m lucky enough to have grown up in a household with parents who still love each other and make enough money for me to afford Alice + Olivia clothes and Kate Spade purses. But my parents have a fundamental lack of understanding when it comes to my eating disorder and me in general.
Of course, all teens think their parents don’t get them. My parents brought this to a whole other level. My mom had been accusing me, rightfully, of purging and restricting for months. Her way to refer to it was “doing something silly”. My father just completely dismissed the notion that I even had an issue. This, of course, made everything ten million times harder.
Every time I needed help I had to push my parents. I had to push to speak to a therapist, whom my parents only want me to speak to two or three times, I had to push to talk to my general practitioner about this, and I had to do a lot of reaching out on my own.
I have been very fortunate. The women who created the nutrition program I wanted was moved by my story, and after hearing my mother’s complete lack of understanding, she gave me her program for free and wants to work with me one on one. My doctor was kind enough to speak to my mom and push to let me truly work with my therapist. The woman behind an eating disorder yoga therapy program has offered to give me a couple free sessions. I was even accepted into an eating disorder mentorship program.
But not matter how much I reach out on my own, it’s incredibly isolating to not have your parent’s support. Everyday I get comments that display my mom and dad’s fundamental lack of understanding. There’s nothing as terrifying as hearing your mom tell you that you look like you’ve gained weight when you have an eating disorder. It’s a burden I have to bear everyday. I can’t even tell them when I do slip up because all I get is yelling and tears. I get pain.
If you are suffering from an eating disorder, and you don’t have a support system, please reach out however you can. Even if your parents don’t want to help you, it doesn’t mean you’re alone. There are programs like Mentor Connect, Chime Yoga, Recovery Warrior, and so many more that are there specifically to help you. The online doctor’s office Maven Clinic has a ton of free deals so you can talk to therapists and nutritionists for free. The word free is your best friend! Free calls, free initial appoints, all are great opportunities. You never know who is willing to help. And you can always contact me, if you need to.