Never has the human privilege of deciding what I want to believe mattered more than it does now that I am the parent of an anorexic teen. When your child is diagnosed with anorexia, and you go about the work of finding treatment, you will discover that the information out there about the illness is less than encouraging.
Just like anything you are told, any headline you read, any article that is getting attention, any sentence that is running through your head, you get to decide what you want to think. A belief is simply a thought that you repeat often enough that it becomes what seems like a fact to your brain.
By learning to challenge these beliefs, we can override the thoughts that are not useful to us, and we will then be free to create beliefs that will enable us to act in ways that create the results we desire. So, I advise you to challenge the so-called facts that will bombard you as you navigate your daughter’s treatment.
There are outdated theories about and treatments for anorexia, dramatic stories with terrible endings, and plentiful articles, none with clear answers. What I know for sure is that when I read a gloom and doom conclusion about anorexia, I can decide whether or not I want to believe it as it applies to my daughter.
What I’ve learned during my daughter’s recovery is that the truth is whatever I decide is the truth. So if a certain percentage of anorexics attempt suicide, I know that that is an imperfect statement that overgeneralizes, and that may or may not apply to any individual case of anorexia.
The statement, “anorexia is the deadliest of all psychiatric illnesses” is, for my purposes, a dramatic declaration. I take my daughter’s illness very seriously, but if I let that statement go around in my head over and over again, how would that make me feel?
In order to know that my beliefs come from my own thoughts, and to ensure that they are the beliefs that I want to have, I have decided to consciously choose them. I choose to believe that the anorexia is part of my daughter’s journey to becoming her very best self, and that I am the perfect mom to support her through it.
What do you believe?
If you’d like to learn more about creating beliefs that will be useful to you in support of your daughter’s recovery, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free 20-minute mini coaching session.