Last week I wrote about resilience as we all find ways to cope during this ongoing pandemic and one of the most stressful election seasons many of us have ever experienced. Being a caregiver of a loved one with an eating disorder is extremely stress filled in ‘ordinary’ circumstances, add in a global pandemic and a very contentious national election and it can be extremely challenging to be resilient. Believing in hope for your loved one’s recovery can seem impossible. 

Allowing ourselves to hope can be a scary prospect. It can feel unwise to even allow ourselves to hope. There can be concern that if we give ourselves that bit of hope, we could be slammed down even harder. Sometimes we simply don’t believe it is possible when there is massive evidence to the contrary. For some, there has been so much pain, so many assaults as caregivers that hope is lost and it’s hard to care anymore. 

I get it, sometimes it’s just allowing ourselves a tiny sliver of hope that our loved one will recover. That is okay. Often it can feel like we are trying harder than our loved one and that can wear us out and steal our hope. 

Parents have told me they have lost hope and even at times after years of worry, have become numb. 

Sometimes we need something big to shift us to renew our hope.

Here are a few of the shifts I’ve seen parents make that have helped grow their hope:

  • Learning of the possibility of a new treatment option.
  • Practicing a new way of communicating that empowers a loved one to choose recovery. 
  • Making self care a priority.
  • Releasing the belief that a loved one’s recovery is the caregiver’s responsibility. 
  • Claiming their own self worth. 
  • Seeing a loved one taking responsibility for what is theirs to carry.

Caregivers can create more hope by exploring these shifts and others. Just taking one action can be the spark that ignites a big shift. We saw the results in this election where one action by millions of people resulted in a big shift. 

We experienced history on Saturday as the first woman was elected for vice president. She also made history for being the first black and first asian woman elected to serve as vice president. It was a good day for many people across the world as hope grew for our democracy. This grew hope for so many around the world for their own situations. 

What is one small action you can take to start growing your hope today? Feel free to share on my social media posts, I’ve had to turn off comments here due to massive spam.