You have asked a very good question. It is important to acknowledge that you are in a challenging situation. You are not yet stable but you recognize that it’s important to teach your daughter how to be stable so that she does not follow in your footsteps.
One of the ways children learn to behave is through modeling. This means that they learn how to behave usually by mimicking the behavior of their parents. This is also true with regard to developing a relationship with food. If your daughter sees you eating only small amounts of food then it’s very possible that she will model your behavior. Generally, the best way to show your child how to develop a healthy relationship with food is to model it for her.
You are currently not in treatment because you do not have health insurance. Unfortunately, many people are in a similar situation. Even so, there are ways to access treatment that are affordable and in some cases, free. Community mental health centers usually offer sliding scale fees or free services based on income. Your daughter may also be able to be seen by a therapist at a community mental health center. Perhaps the two of you could try family therapy. The therapist can help you be a better model for your daughter in terms of eating. He or she could also advise you about how to prevent the development of the disorder in your daughter. You may find family therapy to be very effective.
The bottom line is that you need to be stable for your daughter. That is going to be the best way to prevent the development of any mental health disorder in your daughter. When instructing passengers before a flight, the flight attendants prepare passengers in the event of an emergency. They advise parents to first secure their oxygen mask before attending to their children. Why? Because they recognize that a parent who can’t breathe, who essentially is unstable, cannot effectively help their child. The point is that to effectively help your child you first need to be well yourself.
You clearly are a caring mother who’s worried about her daughter. Accessing effective treatment needs to be your priority. Your motivation could be that you do not want to pass an eating disorder on to your child. The best way to find a community mental health center in your area is to search through the white or yellow pages in the phone book. Call different agencies in your community and ask where you could find help. Thank you for your question. I hope you’re able to find the help that you need.