To the Men Who Supported Us in Eating Disorder Recovery


NEDA Contributors

Eating disorder recovery can be a battle. You need to be well-armed with courage, heart, patience and a strong army of supporters. In honor of Father’s Day, we asked our NEDA community members to share how the men in their lives (fathers, brothers, stepdads, grandfathers, etc.) stood by their side in recovery.

Here’s what they had to say:

1. “My dad came to family meetings and educated himself on the disorder. He asked questions. He tried to understand. He was there. That’s all I could ever ask for.”

2. “My dad isn’t one to show emotions or tell you how he feels. When I was in the hospital, no matter how busy he was, he would come every single day and just sit there and hold me. I was in residential for my prom and my dad decided to come and take me out on a pass and go out for dinner and a game. He gave up everything just to visit me, even if there was nothing to say.”

3. “My dad put me to work in his wood shop. It’s important to be completely in the moment for your safety when working about the saws, etc. It was very therapeutic. It’s his hobby and he shared it with me, knowing I needed a mental escape first and foremost. It was the beginning of recovery for me. I’m forever grateful for my dad.”

4. “When I was about 15, I began to develop my eating disorder. My father was also diagnosed with prostate cancer. My whole world was falling apart, but my father has never given up on me. He goes above and beyond to make sure I am taken care of health-wise, [financially] and mentally. Although the past years have been rocky, I am finally recovered from my ED and I couldn’t have done it without him. I love you, Dad.”

5. “He shared with me that he also [struggled with] bingeing and purging as a teen and young adult because of the emphasis on physical appearance in his family. It made me feel understood.”

6. “I have ‘Hope’ tattooed on my wrist. When I put myself back in treatment after a bad relapse, my little brother went out and got ‘Hope’ tattooed on his wrist, an act of both support and love. It was his first tattoo.”

7. “My dad, even while dealing with an ED himself, always ate night snacks with me. He made me feel a little more ‘normal’ and a lot less alone.”

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