Content warning: This post features triggering content, including Anorexia and Mental health.
The title of this post is the opening line from Ana’s Song (open fire), by Silverchair. Daniel Johns wrote the song to talk about his struggle against Anorexia.
Quote Quest Week 3 Prompt:
“Right on the edge of fear was where trust could grow.”― Cherise Sinclair
As a mum of a young girl, I feel fear about the world she is growing up in. I happened to watch 24h in A&E last night and watching one of the cases made me feel genuinely worried. There was a teenage girl in the unit suffering from Anorexia, with her visibly anxious mum. The poor girl had convinced herself she needed to count calories when she ate. She was essentially starving herself. Despite her mother’s pleas for her to eat, she didn’t seem to realise the gravity of the effects upon her health. In a fortunate turn of events, the shock of staying overnight on the ward and having a near-miss in cardiology prompted the teenager to take the advice of the treatment team seriously.
I say fortunate because I hope this young girl has the right care to ensure she returns to full-health both physically and mentally. When I was on placement whilst at University, I house-shared with a young guy. I think he may have developed an eating disorder. Sadly, it cost him his life. I remember being back at University when one of the other people I’d lived with on that year out phoned to tell me of his death. I felt heartbroken for his family and loved ones.
Little did I know then, that I would have a battle with mental health. Mine wasn’t food-related; but it’s easy to see how an impression can be made on an individual, especially when they are young. There is still fat-shaming in our society. I encourage my daughter to eat healthily and remain physically active. I’m also mindful that as her parent, I need to limit her exposure to online content that could be damaging for her self-esteem. At the same time, I have to trust that she will make the right decisions for herself, without feeling under pressure from her peers/ other sources to be ‘skinny.’ Just be healthy, I think to myself.
The fear I feel of wasted youth and life is a real one. I’m attempting to rationalise the fear by doing all I can to ensure my daughter feels loved as she is. I trust and hope that she and her peers will feel comfortable in their skin as they grow up, without feeling the need to conform to how they perceive society thinks they ‘should be.’ In case she ever has any doubt, I know a good song by Silverchair to play for her, Ana’s Song (Open fire). As Daniel sings, “And Ana wrecks your life, Like an Anorexia life.”
See what other bloggers are writing about for this week’s Quote Quest, by clicking here.
Read more of my musings on mental health here.