My iPad doesn’t like the word stuckness. It keeps trying to separate the stuck from the ness, or capitalise it. But it is a word I am all too familiar with it. It is used about L on a regular basis, to describe the state of being stuck. Of being slightly recovered, but not being fully recovered. Of being scared to move forward, but not slipping backwards. A state of limbo essentially.
For L this stuckness has happened around BMI 18.5. This is the medical threshold of A Healthy Weight. Unlike the old epigram, one can have a healthy body but a very unhealthy mind. Once L gets to the 18.5 weight she wants to stop restoring weight any further. She tries to stop eating and then slips back and loses weight. But there is a bigger fear. Of being well and no longer special. Of losing the sense of control and discipline that anorexia gives her. At family therapy this week I try and explain to her how I yearn for her to be brave. How my sense of how our lives are at the moment is so often of her on a diving board and me trying to coax her to be brave and jump. How walking the hot coals towards recovery will be so much more painful if she tentatively feels her way through each step. But as always, the well cannot tell the unwell how to become well. L needs to learn for herself, and the first jump will be the hardest. Last night she had pitta bread as a snack and Rice Crispies later. Two new snacks in one evening. If we both weren’t so tired, we would laugh about her living life on the edge, that this is just how she rolls.
But I do so long for her to become unstuck. Today I went to a funeral, as an official representative of my organisation, to pay our respects to a man who died aged 54 years , cycling home to his family. A man who loved life and made a huge impact on the lives of others. Life is so short. Too short to hover over calorie labels, to worry about each mouthful or to count each crumb.