Why We Fight for Those in Eating Disorder Treatment - Franny Morin
Recently, I had a chance to sit on “The 405” in the Seattle-Bellevue area and think about why I loved my job. And, due to the heavy traffic, I had lots of time to think.
It took me an hour to go just seven miles. As I waited, I realized just how much time, effort and love that the Eating Recovery Center, Washington employees put into their patients — long before they even arrive to the building.
While the traffic moved at a seemingly glacial speed, taking an emotional toll, possibly even affecting some people’s sanity, I felt empathy for my coworkers in Bellevue.
I started to think about the work we do, in supporting people with eating disorders through some of the hardest fights of their lives. And, I thought to myself, “Traffic aside, why do I, and why do my coworkers, continue to go to work each day, fighting against these terrible illnesses called eating disorders?”
We look for professional superheroes
The truth is that nothing about living with or treating eating disorders is easy. Eating disorders are diseases that can affect not just your mental and physical health, but also your family.
I started to think about my day, and how, earlier in the day, a father was touring our office. His countenance was long and chalky and he wore that white flag of surrender on his face that I have seen many times before.
I wanted to tell him that it was all going to be OK, but as the Lead Recruiter, I don’t typically work with men and women on the “front lines.” So I stayed silent.
Instead of the front lines, my role is to find the superheroes on the ground. These superheroes are the ones who will take the lead in supporting our patients and families in recovery. These are the men and women who will reach out to parents like this man, to let them know that things are going to be OK.
We work daily to help patients heal
Me, I fight eating disorders too. But, I fight them quietly from my desk. Though it seems banal, it is not a perfunctory action, but an act of volition and choice. I am able to use my personal gifts and talents in supporting and loving others, as we all work together as a team to help patients heal.
Sadly, I won’t be there to watch that particular father pass off his flag to Eating Recovery Center. But, I know that our team in Washington will take good care of it, holding it tightly for him until we can collect the same white flag from his child. We will help to weave them together into something amazing that will symbolize rebirth, not surrender.
It is the sweat, tears and concern of our staff that will help to bind the separate pieces together until the family can hold it, as one unit, reunited again.
I thought to myself “This is why we fight. We fight to get to the moment where this family won’t need us anymore.”
What makes you do the work you do?
No job is a utopia. A job can inevitably be something you trade your life for.
And I encourage you to ask yourself, “What do you fight for every day? What makes you do the work you do?” If you don’t have an answer, maybe it is time to find something that’s worth it; even something that is worth fighting the traffic on “the 405.”
Franny VanHatten is Lead Recruiter at Eating Recovery Center.