NEDA Column – Thank You For Everything, Mom.

Here is my NEDA column for the month of May! I decided to write a piece focussing on my relationship with my mom and how she has positively impacted my recovery. This piece was originally published on NEDA’s blog closer to Mother’s Day, but I’ve been very busy with school and forgot to repost it on here until now 🙂

Originally published on the National Eating Disorders Associaton’s blog

I feel extremely lucky to have a mother that is also my best friend. She has and always will be a source of comfort for me. When I was in elementary school and would come home from ballet class in tears because the teacher made me feel bad about my body my mom would hug me, hold me, and make sure that I felt loved and appreciated for exactly the way that I was. As I got older, coming home from school or ballet in tears because of body-shaming comments became a more regular occurrence, and every time my mom was there for me.

My mom even came up with a coping method for me that I still use to this day, and we call it “my turtle shell.” Her idea behind it was that whenever I felt as though I needed some extra protection I would put on my metaphorical turtle shell and feel safer and more secure, and then people’s words couldn’t hurt me as much. At a young age, she began to teach me that I needed to be strong, and do my best to not let other people’s thoughts and feelings get under my skin.

Part of why my mom has played such a significant role in helping with my body image is because we have similar body types. I think that has always helped us have a close relationship because we can relate and understand some of each other’s thoughts and feelings towards our bodies. Even though my mom and I both knew that I was a larger kid, she never made me feel bad about my body. She wanted me to love myself, and see my worth beyond my physical appearance, and she has done everything she could to help me with that challenging task. She is truly one of the most selfless people that I know, and I have and always will admire her.

Dear Mom,

Thank you for always providing me with comfort.

Thank you for always standing up for me.

Thank you for always giving me unconditional love.

Thank you for always doing what you could to protect me.

Thank you for standing by my side and holding my hand through all of my years of struggles with mental illnesses.

Thank you for helping me see that I have always been enough exactly the way that I am.

Thank you for always believing in me, and encouraging me to persevere.

Thank you for striving to be the best mother that you could possibly be every single day. 

Thank you for providing me with an incredible role model, and a lifelong best friend.

Thank you for everything mom! I hope you have a wonderful Mother’s Day celebrating the incredible woman that you are. I love you to the moon and back.

Love, Emily

Link to this article on NEDA’s Blog: Thank You For Everything, Mom.

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