As always a big “thank you” to you all for joining us again and a special welcome to our new family this week.
It was an especially emotionally charged room this time with lots of families with questions needing help finding answers from within the group, many of us felt stuck with what to do now! You are all very special people and offer so much love and care to your families, not just your loved one with an ED.
Whatever the ED tells you, you are not bad parents, you are not even good parents, you are great parents!
With such a highly charged atmosphere I felt it would be useful to remind you all of our priorities when caring for a loved one with an eating disorder (as Chris said – my “rant”, but well intended) and I have also attached a reminder of our golden guidelines for carers.
Priority List When Caring for a Loved One with an Eating Disorder
1. Pay attention to medical risk
2a. Look after yourselves – an exhausted carer is not an effective carer
2b. Consider if your current caring style is working. If it is, carry on doing the same things. If not, consider making some changes
3. Coach your loved one to make their own changes, once they are ready
As ever this week’s discussions have prompted me to write another capsule (meal support for a 17 year old!) and I am attaching several other capsules as well:
- Meal support for a 17 year old
- Meal support – the SUCCEED DVD vignette
- Communication Skills to deal with violent outbursts
- A new activity leaflet for siblings
Remember eating disorders are illnesses of disconnection and the ED voice will do whatever it can to disrupt normal family relationships. Much of the language we use is aimed at repairing ruptured relationships – it is not just about restoring regular nutrition!
I have recently uploaded two videos from the SUCCEED DVD to Youtube:
- Meal support https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9j3Ww6AA58Y
- Sibling conversation https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eHnegLI39Ac
Notice how in both videos the language used helps to repair past differences and address the challenges that Edi is facing with empathy and calm support, whilst also looking forward to better times ahead.
It leaves us to say thank you to you all for contributing to the group this week. You were absolutely amazing and you worked so hard at helping each other, you’re brilliant.
Remember, Keep telling your loved ones, both with and without an ED that you love them and they are special to you. Tell them “you are loved by me” which I always feel means more than “I love you”.
You know where we are and you know to contact us if you need.