Eliza has logged a lot of miles in the last few days. On Thursday, she flew home to Charlotte from Dublin and today she flew across the country to San Francisco. She did so reluctantly, leaving midway through a program and a study abroad experience she was loving. And she did so courageously, because she came back to get the help she needs for her eating disorder. It is one she has battled for years and something we thought was resolved, but she was honest about how much it has resurfaced in the last month and that she cannot overcome it on her own.
She is heading to an eating disorder treatment center in California, where she will be able to focus on healing and recovery. I am so grateful that she was able to ask for help, that she Is willing to get the help she needs, and that we are able to provide it. In the midst of much sadness and frustration, these are the rays of light that shine through. I hate that she had to leave Dublin, but I am so glad that she got to experience it for as long as she did and that she was there long enough to make memories and life-long friends. I wish she didn’t have to struggle and suffer with the disordered thinking that underlies her eating disorder, but I appreciate how much she wants to get better and that she will be in good hands while focusing exclusively on her recovery.
I write about this because life is messy and complicated and we are all doing the best we can with the curveballs it throws at us. Things do not always go according to plan. I think it is important to be honest about struggle so that others who are struggling know that they are not alone. And I think this is particularly true of mental health struggles because talking about them is the best way to undo the stigma that often accompanies them. My hope is that Eliza will be home in time to celebrate the holidays with us. And I hope that she will be able to see herself as the beautiful young woman we know her to be and be able to go forth and live the wonderful life that lies ahead for her. I take comfort in knowing we are doing all we can to help her and support her. And that no matter how difficult her journey, she knows she is loved.