Love Tag: Does This Feel Familiar?
Does This Feel Familiar?
Does This Feel Familiar? is a three year project created from the lives of several family’s and individual’s long struggle with eating disorders. The book is comprised of twenty-four contributing authors who speak collectively in “one powerful voice,” 11 outstanding professionals in the field and several promising endorsements. Does This Feel Familiar? is written from the most vulnerable, raw, place in our hearts in hopes that our honesty will help you to never feel alone again in this battle.
When you are a caregiver and your loved one is struggling with or in recovery from an eating disorder the world can fade away and the process can become all-consuming. As an organization whose inception came out of a recovery group for young adult women in recovery, we understand the isolation, hopelessness, and confusion that can come with trying to make sense of how to be the best support. Feeling alone is a devastating piece of not only having an eating disorder but also being a caregiver of a loved one who has been afflicted.
Recently, a group of caregivers came together and recognized that there was a need for literature that spoke honestly about this process – from a caregiver perspective, not a treating professional one. And with that Does This Feel Familiar?, was written.
How did the project come about?
The book Does This Feel Familiar? is a three-year project birthed out of the lives of several family’s and individual’s long struggle with eating disorders. We know that we are stronger together and believe that giving back what you know is a human responsibility.
We created this book to remind us all that, even in the darkest of times, it is crucial that we vigorously trust our wisdom, seek help and believing that there is always hope for whole and comprehensive healing. What does that really mean? Recovery is about allowing yourself to be human—imperfect and free from the lies of an eating disorder. Recovery is not about becoming the perfect person, it is about knowing and accepting that you are worthy of life, worthy of love and worthy of self-reliance.
Tell us about the contributors.
With that ideology in mind, that we are stronger together, our book is comprised of twenty-four contributing authors who speak collectively in “one powerful voice,” 11 outstanding professionals in the field and several promising endorsements. Embody Love Movement’s Founder, the talented Dr. Melody Moore, is even a contributing writer! The words in this book are written from vulnerable, raw hearts of moms, dads, siblings, extended family, friends and brave survivors with hope and healing as our goal.
Who would this book be useful for? Who should read it?
Our audience is caretakers and anyone who loves someone struggling with an eating disorder. One of best uses of this book is to read it in tandem with your child/loved one’s treatment so, we too as caregivers learn coping skill and necessary tools to best support ourselves, our families and the person struggling with an eating disorder.
Putting something like this together is typically quite a challenge – with so many voices, so much to say, so many important areas to touch on. What was it like to put a book like this together?
Writing the book was natural but organizing a book like this was challenging! Every person who wrote an entry said YES without hesitation. The contributors were grateful and honored to share personal experiences, both painful and favorable. We believe that the anonymity of these shared personal experiences help the reader to recognize and react to their own personal role in the healing of their loved one. This is not just another person’s story. It is a source of familiarity for others to relate with the struggles and successes from family, friends and survivors.
With the help of an incredible editor, Lauren Hall, the newly published book is efficiently divided into four sections and each chapter is written modularly to be read solo and/or straight thru cover to cover. There is educational information, personal entries, pro-active suggestions as well as resources for all who love someone struggling. So honestly, Does This Feel Familiar? is full of important and life-changing information parents should know about eating disorders as they continue to learn about themselves and their families. The book also directs you to the professionals for help and healing.
Having a loved one who is struggling with or in recovery from an eating disorder can be so painful. What do you think is critical for parents and caregivers to know?
Some important points for a hurting parent is to know you are not alone in the fight and that there is help available. It is critical to know yourself, build your village of support and understand what it means to love your child through all the darkness and varied complexities of fear. Our sick loved one needs help to heal, as do we as parents. Asking for help and accepting help is a must for parents, no one should have to fight this battle alone.
No mother is perfect. Our own genetic makeup is not perfect. Not you, not me—not one of us is, or will be, perfect! That’s the beauty of being human, and that is perfectly exquisite!
What are some ways that caregivers and parents can become more self-aware, self-informed, and self-compassionate?..
Here are some guilt-free, ask yourself a few self-reflective questions:
- How does my child see me as a woman?
- Do I portray positive body image?
- Do I mind my words? - Don’t ever call your child fat or pudgy. - Don’t comment on other people’s bodies. – Don’t compare your child to others.
- Do I champion the false images the media paints, or am I too seduced by the fiction?
- Am I trying to be the “perfect” mom, or do I accept my mistakes all the while loving my child and admitting my human shortcomings?
- Are my expectations reasonable both for my child and for myself?
- Do I allow for vulnerability in others and within myself?
- Do I listen and discuss issues firmly but thoughtfully? Do I really listen to what my child is saying?
- Am I asking my child to be part of my plan, or am I trying to understand their own?
- Do I nurture my child’s self-esteem?
- Do I help my child see his or her strengths? Do I discuss their strengths positively?
- How do I cultivate self-worth and self-respect for my child and myself?
- If I have had or do have my own eating disorder, am I working for my own recovery?
- Much of the way we view life is a choice. Am I making a choice to rejoice in the positives or dwell in the negatives? Positives and negatives always co-exist.
Dr. Lara Pence
Executive LOVE Director