Interview with Parents of an Anorexic
Well hello there friends,
What an outpouring of support and awareness it has been from you all this week. I have been so overwhelmed by your kindness and care about a topic that is so important to me.
I apologize that comments were closed this week. I am in Florida this week with limited access to internet, so I have no control over technical glitches.
And of course, that is when they will happen…
Regardless, today I want to talk about my parents.
Meet two of the most lively, spirited and wonderful people I know. The two of them contain the very best bits of me with none of the bad. Literally, these people are saints. I would want to be friends with them whether they were my parents or not.
Together, they have weathered the most incredible of storms and they have still managed to stay hopeful and in love because, well, they are on the same team.
These two have put their lives on hold to go up against anorexia. Although they didn’t chose it, they spend their days dispensing medication, travelling to and from appointments, interviewing new dieticians, therapists and doctors when needed, deciding when and where to put their youngest baby in treatment, driving to another appointment, coaching her through meals, paying bills for therapy and travel, taking Jolene to another appointment, doing awareness talks at local events, paying more bills, driving to another appointment… you get the idea.
My father is a Type A mover and shaker who goes after life with reckless abandon. He stops at nothing to reach his goals and his success in life has proven that. Any of my adventuring genetics are owing to him.
My mother is the most lively, spirited person I know. She is spontaneous and wildly FUN. All my decisions for last minute road trips to Tennessee or signing up for a half marathon “just because” are due to her. (It is a necessity to blame one’s shortcomings on their parents..)
Basically, to sum up my parents…if you were at a party, my mother would be in the centre of it and my father would have been on the committee who spearheaded it.
Dealing with an illness that daily challenges the health, longevity and wellbeing of one of their children has taken a toll on them over the years. They are by no means perfect and the eating disorder has made them question everything in the past, including each other.
I have watched them battle through some of the darkest moments in our family, their marriage and their lives. I have watched them fall in love again and emerge stronger and more hopeful than ever before.
For me, this was vital. They taught me to hold on to what matters in life, even when it seems like there is nothing worth holding on to. Observing their faithfulness to their vows, their family and their community changed the way I saw the world.
They have taught me that life is not fair and it’s sometimes not even fun, but it is worth living and living to the full extent.
Having a family member with anorexia has broken our family, my parents and my sister. But instead of giving up because our old normal was gone, my parents have begun a new normal and show that you can rebuild anything with enough love, hope and faith that it will all turn out ok.
But they can tell the story better than I can:
Check back on Monday for the final instalment of the National Eating Disorder Awareness Week Series where my sister and I have a candid conversation on what it is like to have a sister with anorexia.