If L goes into hospital she will be put on bed rest for most of the day, which means that outside of supervised mealtimes or therapy sessions she will have to rest in her hospital bed. This sounds like the easy part. Each weekend morning, L arrives in my room, swaddled in her thick fleecy pyjamas and climbs into bed next to me. I fold my arms round her and we doze. Not sleep, but that half awake, half dreamy state. I wish that a cure for anorexia would be invented which lets us sleep like this for days, or that there was a place we could go where meals would be produced, with no weighing, no calorie values screaming on every packet and where white cotton sheets would be freshly laundered each day, everything would stay tidy and no work would intrude. While her eyes are closed and her breathing is slow,I cannot see the fear on her face or the sad, faraway look that haunts her features each day. Wrapped in my duvet I cannot feel her bones as sharply and I hold her hands which become as warm as mine, rather than as cold as they usually are.
Later today I will have to urge her to eat. She will cry and try to bargain a way out of it and I will have to stay firm and know that I am causing her short term pain. Planning each meal, each snack will get harder as the anorexia tries to fight back. But for now, we rest. This will make the day to come so much easier