eating disorder

How To Have And Not To Hold: Family And Eating Disorders 

Today’s guest blog post is from a woman named Csilla, who bravely shares personal details about her experiences with an eating disorder. Leave us your thoughts in the comments below! 

​Family is very important in recovery in so many ways.  Family is supposed to be the place where you are safe, loved and where you can be truly yourself because they know you more than anyone else.  Or at least they know who you were. Before. But an Eating Disorder can rock the most solid foundation of a family and turn things messy, chaotic and ugly. 
My family and I learnt it the hard way that sometimes you can’t help the way you want to.
They had always been very supportive ever since I was a little girl. I was trusted to do things the way I wanted to-and I always did everything the right way. The way it was expected from me. Until one day I didn’t. And it was incredibly hard for them to accept. I can’t blame them. Their world just shattered. And came all the questions. Why did I do this to myself and to them? When things used to be perfect. Where is the reliable, sweet, perfect child? 
During recovery they did everything they could to help me, hoping that their girl  would soon return and everything would be back to normal. I had been such a good kid before-the kind you are dreaming about. It was so easy to love me, almost effortless. 
But I’d changed. I grew up and couldn’t un-know what I knew and couldn’t undo what I’ve done. I wanted to do things my own way and all I could do was to try to make them understand that it was still me, I was still good, loveable and loving. I just couldn’t accept conditions for love. I couldn’t be “perfect” any more just so I can be loved. Love can only be unconditional or you can’t call it love.

I knew it was so hard for them. Heartbreaking.  Especially for my Dad, he couldn’t cope with all that happened and was clinging onto the past. However for me there was only one way: forward. I couldn’t go back. Recovery to me meant that I could freely be the person I wanted to and I had to become. Someone who might make disagreeable decisions and mistakes and learns from them; someone who is not always pretty and sometimes does ugly things and often goes outside of the lines. This was the real me now. 
It took tremendous amounts of work to understand what was going on in me and where my thoughts and feelings were coming from. I spent a long-long time trying to accept that none of what happened was my fault. That it wasn’t anyone’s fault and there was no reason to point fingers. It’s not good for anyone. 

What I needed to do was to take steps and deal with the consequences. Even if I was causing pain to the people I loved.  I had to decide if I wanted to live my life pretending that I was someone I was expected to be or put my foot down and face the reality that was waiting for me. 
I moved out of home and started to live independently. It was an incredibly liberating experience and a very difficult and painful period at the same time . I had hurt people who loved me and I knew it’d take them a long time to accept and hopefully understand that I had to do this for myself and my survival. 
Looking back it makes me cry to think about how hard it was to be without them for years. I’m incredibly lucky because my Mom has always been there for me, even when nobody else from the family would talk to me, even when it was crazy challenging. I wasn’t completely alone and she helped me tremendously. 
Years later we slowly started to get in touch again, my brother and Dad and my beloved Grandma. It took another couple of years to get to know each other again. 

The scars are there, but they are not open wounds any more. I’m grateful that God granted me the serenity to accept the things I couldn’t change, the courage to change the things I could, and the wisdom to know the difference.

5 comments on “How To Have And Not To Hold: Family And Eating Disorders 

  1. Your profound life lessons are so moving, Csilla!
    Thank God “The scars…are not open wounds anymore.” So glad you were able to reconnect with your father, grandmother, and brother and that your mother was there for you all along.

    All my best to you, and ***thank you*** for opening up to us.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for your words! I knew that my only choice if I want to survive this was to prioritize my health and that it would take a very long time for things to works again between me and my family. I had to choose life.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. It can be so difficult to have your family at odds with you, especially when you suffer from an eating disorder! I’m so sorry that happened to you, but I’m glad you were able to reconnect with them. Thank you for sharing your story.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your time to read it and your kindness. You can’t choose your family and you don’t choose to have an ED. But you do have to deal with both. One way or another you have to face reality. What IS your choice though is if you want to give yourself a chance or let yourself be beaten by prejudice and reluctance to accept who you are.

      Liked by 2 people

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