If you had a choice to be a Rock, or to be Water, which would you choose? What is the strongest?
Dr. Wayne Dyer says: “Water is the softest of all things, yet it is the most powerful. The ocean patiently allows all things to flow into it. It is always flexible.”
I am the Water, not the Rock. The rock is stable, unmoving, the water is a slow- or fast-moving constant, but can cut straight through any rock or any mountain with sheer persistence. I want to embody all the aspects of water in my life, the ability to go with the flow, roll with the punches, accept life when it does not go out as planned.
When I think of an obstacle, I think of ‘Rock’, and know I can overcome whatever is in my way with hard work and intentionally slow, but persistent effort.
I have a daughter caught in a compulsive self-harm cycle that is not slowing down. Mental illness comes in many forms, but most of the time it can be managed with good self-care, good support systems, and a little medication. However, if you have multiple medical issues compounding your underlying issue… the health issue becomes like a rock, that is slowly turning into a mountain… How can I, as mom, be more like water, and allow things to flow one day at a time, and how do I decide which rocks MUST be broken down first, or which rocks we can sail right past.
I am struggling right now because I am willing to move heaven and earth to save my child, but my child is not willing to save herself and it has taken over her life. Eating Disorders are insidious diseases that tear apart families, tear down kids’ self-worth, and involves a repeated cycle of self-abuse that seems to be without end.
With bulimia or anorexia combinations, it is that number… the blessed number on the scale that determines (to her) whether she feels she has the right to live or not. When her number rises, she no longer feels worth living, and has zero interest in recovery thinking, or help from well-meaning professionals. Food in all forms, have become the enemy, but nourishment of the body is also the cure.
I spent my entire life fighting for my life, so I cannot quite relate to a feeling that life is not worth living, but in this case, it is a reality that I must accept if I want to survive day to day with my child. To talk to a child, offer hope, offer support, and realize that nothing you can say or do will alleviate any of the pain she is feeling, because she when she does describe what is happening to her, there are no answers and it seems much less likely we will know how to fix the situation.
She has decided to accept the ED as her life, and we are all supposed to pretend we don’t see the disordered behaviors, or that we do not see her literally ‘vanishing’ before our eyes a little more each day. This is the underlying intent, to vanish, to lose weight so she no longer exists in the body she is currently in. No amount of reason, or logic, or science, or near-death scares, have changed her determination to keep doing what she states is ‘the only thing that gives her happiness in life’. What we know scientifically, these diseases do not stop until the patient dies from their self-inflicted starvation habits.
If ED is the Rock right now, then… yes. Mom will be the water. I will keep doing everything in my power to express my unconditional love and support, even if it frustrates and confuses me every day. It is a hopeless feeling to watch your own child slip away and feel there is nothing you can do to stop it… you can postpone things by checking into hospitals, but the drugs and therapy only masks the symptoms if the client is not willing to get the help is offered. All I can do is hold her and take her to her appointments, and attempt to guide her safely through things.
I pray every day for healing for my family. I wish I could say I had the answers, and that all of my positive affirmations about myself were helpful in this case, but they are not. I just try to focus on the positive and remember that tomorrow is another day to try again.