Last week was tough and I wrote about how when things seemed just too hard, all you can do is keep putting one foot in front of the other. L came home for the weekend on Friday night, her third weekend with an overnight stay – two nights in fact. Her first times at home seemed such precious time and there was always a temptation to try and do things or go out, to make the most of the time we have. But now, I have learned, the best way of spending the time is to do as little as possible and to hang out at home, watching TV or chatting on the sofa.
But there have been difficult times. Yesterday, breakfast was tough. I gave L different bread than the one she usually has. She asked her dad to buy her a small sliced loaf to use for toast but I use the usual thick sliced standard loaf. She resists, but I am insistent. We have lunch in town, but head home for dessert. This is also tough as I push her to eat a different yogurt and there is a stand off over fruit. I also notice new obsessive behaviour. Dessert has to be eaten from a round bowl, Weetabix from an oval bowl, only certain types of cutlery are allowed. It is not just food, going out becomes difficult if she cannot find a matching coat or shoes. There are tears over food. But there are lovely times too. She sees a friend from primary school and it lifts her mood so much, as if she remembers a time when she was more carefree and before anorexia took hold.
Sunday is easier. L chooses a chocolate bar as a snack. This is a first. We argue, good naturedly over the weight of different bars (the unit snack list specifies a 50g bar) and we debate whether this can be lower. I suggest 45g might be acceptable, L argues that perhaps 38g will be and I refuse. She is persuasive, she submits that this is her choice of chocolate and her choosing a certain sort of chocolate is more important than the weight. We compromise as ever.
And she looks so much better. A friend of ours sees her this weekend for the first time and expresses alarm at how thin she is. I laugh and say it is good they didn’t see her before. I can no longer count her vertebrae from a distance. When I hug her I feel her, not bones. She wears a tshirt with no hoodie to keep her warm. Her clothes don’t sag and bunch with space where a young woman should be. We are getting there.