A few weeks ago, I was fortunate enough to share my story as a caregiver at the Veritas Collaborative community event in Atlanta, GA.
During the question and answer, a parent of a child with an eating disorder shared their experience – mentioning several times how scared they were and how they wished they were “brave like me”.
Brave like me? I’m brave?
I don’t think there’s been a day in the last two years where I wasn’t scared.
From diagnosis to residential at Veritas in Durham, to PHP and outpatient at Veritas in Charlotte, to a stretch of recovery, and now back to treatment in Charlotte. Every step of the way has been fraught with fear and questions.
Eating disorders thrive on uncertainty. When you’re a parent of a child battling an eating disorder, uncertainty is a commodity that always seems to be in stock. But it is the uncertainty and questions that create fear.
Although I may not feel brave, I am showing up every day for my daughter. I’m in the trenches with her. I’m not quitting. I’m not letting her battle this on her own. I’m where I need to be when I need to be there and doing the work I’m supposed to be doing.
As individuals and individual families, we are all brave in our own way.
As a caregiver, advocating for families and individuals is my way of reminding myself that we are all stronger when we come together – sharing our stories, leaning on one another, and standing as one.
As a community, we are strong in the only way that matters. We are dedicated and committed to fight eating disorders and help our loved ones reclaim the lives they deserve.
Showing up every day and facing the fear and uncertainty – that is bravery.
About the Author
Dad vs Eating Disorder is the parent of a child in recovery from an eating disorder. After walking with his child through treatment at Veritas Collaborative, he set out on a mission to give a voice and honest perspective to eating disorder recovery. He shares his perspective on Twitter at Dad Versus Eating Disorder (@HopefullDadNC). Follow him for more first-hand thoughts, insights, and resources related to eating disorders recovery.