Christmas was worse than imagined, but not due to Ed. Flu struck the day before Christmas Eve, although it looked at first like a cold, but kept on deteriorating, until on Boxing Day I was a wheezing wreck, begging K to help me put on socks. So, of course, Ed had a ball, with no one to coax and push, meals were skipped and portions reduced. No matter, I am resigned to her second admission. Part of falling down with flu is realising my limits, that I can’t help her eat if I am also to hold down a job, look after K and J or even look after myself.
So, Christmas trudges on. We have decided to do as little as possible for the duration. Today I ventured outside for the second time, to take K to CAMHS. We sat in the waiting room, K giggled as Mad World was played on the radio and we drove home largely in silence. K asks if I am ok and I tell her I am tired. The truth is I am numb and feel like something snapped and broke inside me. Sleep and mundane tasks are the only things to make sense. L asks what we are doing for New Year and I reply Nothing, because this year I’m not going to pretend that it is a new year full of hope and promise and I will expect another shitty year like the last. She stares back at me silently and I resist the urge to say to her, “This is anorexia. This is the life we lead now, all of us with taut, anxious faces watching you weep over the wrong yogurt. Meanwhile in your bizarre Instagrammed world of fucking porridge and fruit, you all pretend its wonderful; you tell each other how perfect your skeletal bodies are and we weep some more at how far you have drifted away from us”.
Of course I don’t say that; I shrug and serve pasta with a sauce she won’t eat and spend the evening eating a chocolate orange she ignores. And they call this a holiday….