I was talking to a family today. A very nice family.
We were talking about communication and how sometimes they get stuck trying to talk to each other, and how sometimes they misunderstand what each other means, and how they get frustrated with themselves and each other.
We had a good talk. We came up with some ideas and strategies for keeping communication clear and open. Near the end of the meeting I said to them it was so clear they loved each other tremendously, and it was also clear how the years of living with a serious illness had taken a toll on them and on their connections to each other.
It was one of those poignant moments- one of those times when people stop everything and come together and deeply connect. Each of them acknowledged how much they cared about one another, and each of them said how worn down they felt by the eating disorder and the way it drained them and wore away at their relationships.
It was a moment they could hold onto as they left my office. And I hope they do hold onto it. We all need to take such care (and have such gentleness) to tend and protect and nurture our connections. This is true whether there's an eating disorder or not. Connections are so precious, and we always want to take good care of them.
Well, at least that's always been my philosophy :)