The First Day of the Year…

New Year’s Eve turned out to be ok. Eventful, but ok. We went off to friends for a party in the pub across the road. I was really excited – the first time my mood really lifted all holiday. My friend T and I were dressing up as nuns, in a Sound of Music fancy dress theme. As we headed off, I realised we had forgotten L’s familiar snacks. I’d planned to stay at home until snacks were over. But L seemed ok. She had cake for pudding and asked if she could have cider as a snack.

Let me be clear about why I said Yes. L is 15 and drinking regularly is obviously a bad idea. Over a year ago she and a friend made themselves very ill drinking smuggled white rum. But despite this, I trust her. And alcohol has calories and is full of fear for her. So I said yes. Because if she didn’t have anorexia and asked for some cider at NYE, I’d say yes.

Off we went to the pub. J stayed in charge. Just before 11, J showed up looking worried. L had been drinking cider. Quite a lot. I rushed back and discovered a young woman with a loud voice, telling everyone she loved them. K and my friend’s daughter had been feeding her bread, trying to sober her up. She told K, she couldn’t hear Ed’s voice. A year ago, I would have been horrified at a drunk teenager. This time I took it in my stride. I sat with her, fed her banana and tea, fetched a bowl when I thought she was going to be sick [she wasn’t ] and told her a thousand times that no, I wasn’t cross and no, I didn’t hate her. Today, I wrapped her in blankets and fed her comfort food, we mixed up the snacks list and meals. We had the first takeaway pizza in a long time and L laughed when I said that while her anorexic voice would be angry about the pizza, her hangover voice would weep tears of gratitude.

In the war being waged by anorexia on L and it seems,on all of us, it is important to recognise the gifts. L got drunk. She also laughed. She squealed with delight and was out of control – out of the control of anorexia. The gift here is Perspective. My daughter got to be a normal teenager for a night – if normal means breaking rules and doing really daft things. We got to spend a lot of sofa time together today. She just brought a snack she chose into the living room and it is Christmas Cake. Perhaps 2013 will be the year she gets better

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One response to “The First Day of the Year…

  1. I’m glad your one of the mothers who can recognise this! Although drinking alcohol at every opportunity is stupid for an anorexic there’s nothing wrong with joining in normally. Even after I was recovered the only time I was really honest with some of my closest friends about the anorexia was when drunk. She’s also very true about the fact it’s one of those only times you can really ‘escape’ from anorexia in your head. Hope 2013 bring happy and healthy times for you all! X

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