When the world is filled with atrocities, pain, suffering, fear and uncertainty it’s hard to keep all the balls in the air. Being a caregiver of a loved one with an eating disorder is extremely stress filled (serious understatement) in ‘ordinary’ circumstances, add in a global pandemic topped off with a war that feels eerily like we are leading up to a repeat of WWII and it can be extremely challenging to be resilient.
Believing in hope for your loved one’s recovery can seem impossible. Much like the hope for these tiny plants growing through the pavement.
It can feel silly 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. We can walk around with our shoulders hunched up, anticipating the next shoe falling from the sky.
Often, simply allowing ourselves a tiny sliver of hope that our loved one will recover is all we can muster. 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. Are you looking for hope for yourself or a family you’re working to support? Our Recovery Roadmaps partners have created the “Going from Panic to Plan” webinar series to give family caregivers and treatment providers a convenient and affordable resource to grow hope. You can purchase it here https://www.recoveryroadmaps.com/
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 – we discuss validation in the webinar series.
- Making self care a priority.
- Releasing the belief that a loved one’s recovery is the caregiver’s responsibility.
- Practicing self-love.
- Seeing a loved one taking responsibility for what is theirs to carry – boundaries are beautiful.
Caregivers can create more hope by exploring these shifts and others. Just taking one action can be the spark that ignites a big shift.
What is one small action you can take to start growing your hope today? Feel free to share on my social media posts.