Providing support to a loved one with an eating disorder can be challenging at the best of times. My parents, partner, family and friends were often frustrated and confused with the conflicting information they received; experienced a profound sense of powerlessness and grief; and battled the effects of accumulated stress and anxiety. This section is a collection of things that they have learned throughout our journey, and some of the things I and/or they wish they knew from the outset.
The first page is on providing meal support and it looks at questions such as: What is meal support?; Am I ready to provide meal support?; and What does and does not help when providing meal support?.
The second page is about communicating effectively with your loved one and provides some insight into how well-intentioned comments may be misinterpreted and explores some general guidelines to help you avoid conversational pitfalls. There is a fair bit of information out there on what NOT to say, but my family and friends were often left wondering, ‘What CAN I say or do then??? What won’t she misinterpret?’…so there is also a collection of statements and strategies that might assist you in this regard.
The third page briefly covers the importance of self-care and establishing adequate supports for you as support people. It provides some ideas that my family and friends have put forward that they utilised to ensure that their own needs were met whilst they were caring for me.
The final section is entitled ‘Letters to You’ and is a collection of letters that my family and friends have written to you, sharing their struggles, joys, insights, and advice in the hopes that they might encourage and support you in your role. There are letters from fathers, mothers, partners, siblings and friends.
May you be encouraged, inspired, and filled with hope as you read through the contents of this site, knowing that recovery IS possible, yes, even for your loved one.
If you would like to share with others your own letters of encouragement; that which you’ve learnt about communicating or self-care; or what has been effective for you in supporting your loved one, I would love to hear from you! Please fill in the form below, ensuring you have read the Guidelines for Submission before sending through your correspondence.