Through Rylee's Eyes

**This post is written by Rylee, one of Stacee's daughters. She’s home!Stacee and Rylee  As my mom walked through the front door of our new house for the first time, I felt as though there should be a party with the whole world invited! She made it. After what was supposed to be six weeks (which turned into four months) was over, I felt as though the biggest celebration should be thrown! I now realize the hardest part was still to come. I was finally getting used to living with my just my dad, and now there was another change. It was a good change, great change… but it was still another change. At that point, I was getting tired of those. I don’t know what it’s like to have a mom without an eating disorder. Ever since I can remember, my mom has suffered from this mental illness. As I grew up, I hated how it was all a secret. Why couldn’t it be talked about? I was not ashamed of my mom, but I was taught by the world that I should be. Few people in our life knew about the eating disorder, which made for little support. That made it even harder at times, but also made us very thankful for the support we had. Too, this helped our family become very close. Now you can see why these past four months were so hard! Our family was so used to being together and in just two days, we were split three different ways.

The four months I was adjusting to having my mom away for treatment and sister, who was at college, were not easy to say the least. As time went on, I realized things were not going to get easier, but that I just had to learn how to handle it. I was told by so many that I was strong and brave, but I couldn’t find that in myself. For the first couple of weeks, I would cry almost every night. Where was the strength in that? I kept the feelings inside and tried to handle things on my own. Where is the bravery in that? I realized I could only be brave and strong if I let Jesus in. For a while, I was frustrated with Him. I didn’t understand why on earth He would take my mom away from me. Then, I realized how selfish I was being. My mom would not be able to live her life if she had not left for that time. I could not be more thankful that she received the help she so desperately needed. The Lord was the only way I could have strength and bravery during this time. Whenever people tell me these things, I know it’s not me, but Jesus inside of me.

I tend to worry. A lot. Like, a lot a lot. When your mom is sick and you don’t know how to help her, it can cause one to worry. Sometimes I just over think things in my head and then I stress myself out thinking about those things, causing me to worry, and… you get the point. So you can imagine how hard it was for me to trust God the whole time I wasn’t with her. I knew she was getting better, but the road to recovery is the bumpiest of all. How could I not be worried? I spent a lot of time struggling because I felt as though no one could fully identify with what I was going through. And then I felt as though God put His hand on my shoulder and I could just feel His presence. He never left me alone. Also during this time, my dad was my rock. We got very close and I feel like our relationship is so much stronger. He was there for me and would listen whenever I needed him to. Nightly phone calls and weekend visits with my sister gave me the encouragement I needed and I hope I did the same for her. Best friends is an understatement for our relationship. :)

Mental illness has taught me that God gave my mom a different kind of brain. She processes things differently, handles things her best, and feels deeply.

Before my mom had to go to the hospital, things were hard. The summer previous to my mom leaving, she barely had any energy, and her quality of life was decreasing. She was tired most of the time and was weak. Of course, my mom still wanted to do everything with Shelbee and me, which didn’t necessarily help. On the inside, she wasn’t doing so well either. Her heart was literally shrinking, and she was not getting near enough nutrition. The best thing for her to do was to go to a place where she could recover even if it did mean being away from us for a little while.

Now that she is home, she is happier and brighter. Just when she smiles, you can see life in her eyes! Her hugs are tighter and her heart is stronger. I am so thankful that she is on the road to recovery! My mom is my biggest inspiration. She has never given up hope and is constantly putting her trust in the Lord. I couldn’t have asked for a more loving, kind, and strong person to call my mom! '

--Rylee