As I stumble through my days, focused on the “issue of the moment” whether it be how to salvage the green beans I bought a week ago, or how to help my son with the custody battle for his daughter, I find myself losing focus on what truly brought me to this particular point in my life. As impossible as it may seem, I attribute everything, everything that I am and want to be and work for to the moment my child told me she was bulimic. For the past 7 years a day has not gone by where I did not think, if just for a fleeting moment, about that night. It has shaped my intention and my drive. But life moves forward, and the intensity drops. Other things happen, other issues beckon, and my advocacy for families of those with Eating Disorders takes a back burner. And I feel guilty that I am not out there fighting, hard, every moment of the day.
, This morning I read an announcement that Jenni Schaefer, an inspirational voice for those suffering from eating disorders, has decided to “retire” from the field. She has been a voice in my head since 2007 — her wisdom and insight has helped me help my child. But, she is well. She is recovered. She is moving forward with her life and is leaving the field of Eating Disorder Treatment. Bells and whistles went off in my head. Alarm? Concern? Joy? All of the above. You worry that without the support of the network she has woven, she may relapse. You worry that her voice will be silenced, and she has said so many good things that you know that her message needs to resonate still. But, I find myself wrapped in joy that this young woman is moving forward. Her eating disorder does not define who she is and she doesn’t have to think about it every day.
And I think of my child. My grown up, married mom and mom -to -be child. She too is well, recovered, moving forward. Am I, with my continued focus on ED, holding her back? Does she still think I’m timing her when she goes to the bathroom after a meal? Am I timing her? Does she see “treatment” or love when she looks at me?
This deserves some thought. My center is shaky. How do I continue to fight the fight without bringing my daughter into a battle she has already won?