Please note that this is an Archived article and may contain content that is out of date. The use of she/her/hers pronouns in some articles is not intended to be exclusionary. Eating disorders can affect people of all genders, ages, races, religions, ethnicities, sexual orientations, body shapes, and weights.

Author: Mary and Cory Webster

When a child comes into this world, there is nothing more wonderful. You love them from that very first moment. You spend your whole life taking care of them, providing for them, watching them grow. You think they are perfect and then one day everything changes. You discover they have an eating disorder.

How could this have happened? Where did I go wrong? Who can I turn to? Where can I get help? Your whole life is turned upside down and you begin to wonder if there is any hope to make them better.

I am a parent of a precious young girl who has an eating disorder and I want to tell you that there is hope. In simple words, eating disorder victims have not felt good about themselves; they have felt hopeless for a long time. They have periods of depression in which life became much worse and more difficult to them. This was the case with our daughter. She had begun to lose herself.

This eating disorder is an addictive pattern that is the result of someone taking a wrong turn in the effort to arrive at happiness. As parents you need to be the ones to get them back on the right road. I have learned though this experience that you cannot lose hope no matter what anyone tells you and that they cannot do this alone.

One thing that we knew is that we were not giving up, despite every obstacle we encountered. We stumbled a lot in the beginning. We went to many doctors, tried to seek out professional help, asked a lot of questions, read a lot of books. She needed to know that we were not giving up on her.

Hopelessness may be the saddest word in our language. It can halt our progress, it can paralyze us and it can cause us to lose our way. But HOPE awakens us like a light shining in darkness. That light finally came to us when we found “Center for Change.” It gave us more hope because it pointed our daughter to a brighter tomorrow and changed the quality of her life. It was her hope combined with our faith that motivated her to begin to change. This was truly a “Center” to make that change. The Center helped us face reality. It also helped us break down barriers that prevent honest, open communication, something that is so critical in their recovery. It helped her to discover her own self-identity, to explore new things that she never knew about herself.

We know that it is hard to see your child go through something this frightening and so powerful. It is hard to send them to someone else, but you need to trust in the “Center for Change” because they are going to help your daughter heal.

My daughter put it so eloquently when she told another mother who has a daughter suffering from an eating disorder, “You are going to give up your daughter for 4 months, but you will get her back for a life time.”

That is exactly what happened when we put all our trust into the doctors, dieticians, therapists, nurses, cooks and care techs. They gave back to us more than we could have ever hoped for. “Center for Change” gave our daughter hope for a better tomorrow. It gave her a chance to see her life with happiness and joy again, the joy she had when she was a child. It gave her back her life.