Regularly I hear from parents who have experienced any of my professional coaching services for eating disorders caregivers that they didn’t get it in the beginning why I was so focused on them practicing self-care. They’ll tell me after a year or two (or more) of working together that it didn’t make sense to them and now that they’re seeing the life-changing results for themselves and their kids/young-adults in recovery they understand how essential it is. And powerful.
Self-care is the foundation for success as a parent or other family caregiver of someone with an eating disorder. It’s easy to see from this vantage point. And yet when I meet parents who are new to this, they just want me to help them help their kids find “the best” treatment. Of course, because their kids are in dire straits, things are typically critical and it’s really at a scary point.
Yes solid, evidence-based treatments matter. And if the family to whom the person is returning to live with hasn’t done their parallel process…treatment is not going to produce the desired results.
Here is what I’ve seen while providing professional coaching for families over the past 16 years regarding self-care:
Without self-care family caregivers become:
- Brutal suffering
- Empowerers of Ed
Everything builds on the foundation of self-care. This allows for building blocks for success.
With support and accountability to practice regular self-care; family caregivers become:
- Less fearful
- More hopeful
- Experienced in ‘Brutiful’ growth
- Fun people again
- Empathetic without rescuing
- Skilled at boundary setting AND follow through
- Able to communicate more effectively
What’s it giving you or taking from you to continue wearing yourself out?
How does it impact your loved one in treatment or recovery when you’re worn out? How about when you’re filled up and feeling strong?
What small perspective can you shift to allow you to start filling your cup enough to have the capacity to patch the holes in your cup?
Even if it makes no sense at this juncture, will you do what is necessary to get your oxygen mask firmly in place? The plane is filling with smoke, your child is choking and you want to put their mask on. I get it. AND…if you keel over they won’t have you to help them. And they need you not keeled over.
If you’re ready to talk about getting some support and accountability for getting your O2 mask on and keeping it there, give me a call.