Interview with Jolene
Good morning everyone.
I am so overwhelmed by the incredible support that has been pouring out since my original post on Monday. It has been an honour to share our story with you and if we can raise any awareness and shed any light on the truth of eating disorders, I will feel as if we have done our job.
Today’s post is on my sister Jolene.
This was the biggest one for me. It is a long movie, so settle in or save it for a lazy day but be prepared to be touched. Jolene is only 20, but she has been through more in her short life than most people encounter in a lifetime. She talks about her struggles with the resignation, a poise and a grace that is unseen in most of her peers. She is a bit of an old soul, having weathered huge storms in life and having been through hell and back many times.
I don’t want to give you the wrong impression. We do believe that there is hope that Jolene can recover, but we also believe that she will never be able to live a life without the horrible presence of the eating disorder. It will always be a struggle for her, but that is why we are here – to support her, to love her and to keep pushing her on to better things.
There are days when it feels like she will never recover.
There were many moments in her recovery where we truly believed that we had “arrived”. That the battle was finally over and that we could celebrate the fact that we were free of dealing with an eating disorder in our lives.
But in order to save our hearts and our sanity, we had to stop feeling like we “arrived” at a solution and instead, we take it one day at a time. Some days we lose it. (As you will see in upcoming interviews), but most days it is a quiet and unsettled acceptance that this is our normal and we need to find a way through instead of out.
Anorexia has been horribly unfair to Jolene and that is saying it lightly. It has extinguished a vital light in her that she has never relit as she has turned her energies into fighting, sinking and searching. As a family that loves her more than anything, this makes us angry.
So what can you do RIGHT NOW to stop eating disorders in their tracks?
Change your perspective on what matters.
Change your self talk.
Treat yourself the way you deserve and forgive yourself.
Your attitude on this starts with YOU and your self esteem, not anywhere else.
Then stop talking about your perceived flaws to others and instead focus on your strengths and the strengths of others.
Stop comparing yourself to others and celebrate you for who you are.
Replace the negative thoughts you may have with positive thoughts.
And if nothing else? Watch this movie. Jolene can tell the story much better than I can:
Check back on Friday for an intimate interview with my parents on what it is like to care for a child with anorexia.