Time to Get Real

Once again I am away for much of the week. I get to stay in a nice hotel, I meet the lovely Miranda and despite long days, it is just me. No meals to prepare, no early starts, no waiting for the next snack time. I call home and I am assured that L is eating, but I know this will be restricted eating. Sure enough, another week with no weight gain. Her weight is the same as last November – 3 months of treatment, of lost schooling, for nothing. Her mood remains low, her controlling behaviours remain high.

Her case team ask to see me on Monday. They assure me they can continue to treat her, but question the value. Her physical health is not severely compromised, perhaps she might be ok. Her psychologist doesn’t sound convinced and neither am I. But equally we can see this is going nowhere.

In the movies, L would get better. She would come home to balloons and cake. The credits would roll to shots of her eating fish and chips and cartwheeling on a beach. Back in the real world we are in limbo. And if I’m honest, this is my worst fear, that L will remain forever trapped in a half existence. Recovering, but not recovered. Scared to relapse but not brave enough to eat. Stronger, but not yet strong.

And that makes me as sad as I was at the height of her illness. I want her to have a life to be lived, not an existence to be endured. It might be that freed from the clinic, I will be able to help her more. I don’t know, but I will try. Anything is worth trying, except doing the same thing over and over and pretending it will make a difference

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5 responses to “Time to Get Real

  1. It hurts to read this actually. I have unfortunately been trapped in Anorexia, to varying degrees of severity, for the past 23 yrs. I have been hospitalized in countless places for approx 8 yrs when added up, I did not get the help or treatment or early intervention that is now available, 23 yrs ago when my anorexia began as a child. I do not however, consider that my life has been a dreadful,wasted existence. I may be ill and not living the life I would have loved to live, but I have made people smile, loved people, given joy to people during my lifetime. I have helped young and old and made days better for many people. So, yes, I may not be living as I could had I managed to defeat Anorexia completely, but no, I am not living a pathetic, useless existence!

    • Jennifer, I am really sorry if this hurt. The thing is, I know that if L lives her life with anorexia, she will still do great things, make people happy and bring joy to others. There has not been a single day in which I haven’t been far, far happier with her as my daughter than I would be without her.

      My sadness isn’t because she will have a wasted existence, nor could I think that anyone’s life would ever be a “pathetic useless existence”. I don’t use those words and it certainly isn’t what I am saying. The sadness is about the pain she feels inside and the unhappiness she feels and her sense of being trapped. I long for her to have the life she too longs for and the happiness she deserves. When I talk to people who are in recovery, I hear hope, but I also hear a hell of a lot of pain, and like any mother, I don’t want L to be in pain. I want her better and I want everyone who has this illness to be well again. But this doesn’t mean, under any circumstances I think their lives are less valid, quite the reverse.

      I hope this explains it better

  2. It does. Thank you for taking the time to explain it further. I should have realized you meant it this way and not the way my mind interpreted it.
    I appreciate your explanation and do agree, I woulsnt want anyone to be trapped in this mindset for this long, despite how I feel about the rest of my life,this still makes me struggle and fight everyday.
    You are battling so well for your daughter.
    Thankyou again.

    • And it’s flipping brilliant that you recognise all the good you have done, despite battling this bloody illness. Well done, keep reminding yourself of how great YOU are and how much you have done for others. Perhaps it will remind you of how much you deserve a life without anorexia and how much you deserve to be happy and well.

  3. It’s what my mother,bless her,has constantly pushed me to recognize in myself…when I felt it was unbearable to go on, she always repeatedly reminded me of the good I did/do for others…I guess that’s why this resonated with me so much also, as a daughter and with the words of my mother.
    Thankyou so much for your kind words, they mean a great deal and I will cling to them also. 🙂

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