I was talking to a girl the other day who has been hospitalized twice for anorexia. She is lovely. She was talking about her last relapse, and how much she needed her mom during that time.
“I mean, I couldn’t even let her go to the bathroom by herself – I needed to be with her all the time,” she said. I nodded understandingly, thinking about what an amazing mom this girl has, and how lucky she is to receive such wonderful care for her disorder.
My second thought, though, was “Jeez! That must be so freaking hard for that mom!”
Compassion fatigue is something that all moms probably have a little bit every single day. We’re constantly being compassionate for some little (or big) person in our family.
But moms who are managing a family member who has a serious illness like bulimia, anorexia, orthorexia or binge eating disorder can easily slide over from everyday fatigue to a serious condition that needs your attention.
I know – your attention is already overwhelmed by managing a child who needs extra care on top of the everyday management of your family, and imagining having any additional attention to give to yourself seems ridiculous. All I can say to that is that as moms, we give love all day, every day. But if we don’t extend that love to ourselves, we’ll become ineffective love-givers.
So please, evaluate the symptoms below, and consider whether you need some care and support right now.
Here is a printable I created to help you spot the symptoms of Compassion Fatigue:
For more information about Compassion Fatigue, please visit the Compassion Fatigue Awareness Project.